A private family service honoring her life will be celebrated at a later date. 

Loretta Estella Phillips Gardner, 79, of Ozark, passed from this life Friday, July 12, 2019, at Mercy Hospital, Springfield. She was married for 56 years to Major Donald Gardner, United States Army Retired. She was born July 21, 1939, in Neodesha, Kansas and graduated from Pittsburgh State University as an elementary educator. Following Don’s military postings, she lived throughout the United States and Europe and most recently settled in Ozark and Nixa. Loretta was an artist, a creative writer and business woman creating Primitive Americana decor items marketed through major gift stores in the United States. Her creative love was altered art and paper ephemera, off-beat collections and her trademark tennis shoes.

In addition to her husband, Loretta is also survived by two sons, Britt Gardner and Troy Gardner and their families, including five grandchildren, all living in Nixa. She is also survived by a brother, Dean Phillips and his wife, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.