Doris Diane Gardner, 86, went to be with the love of her life on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, with her loving and devoted family by her side. Doris was born on Nov. 24, 1932, in Manchester, New Hampshire, the daughter of Napoleon and Helen Dupont Daigle.

She married the love of her life, Robert Gardner, on Nov. 23, 1950. They were married for 64 years. They had four beautiful children and with their love, they set the example of what true love really is. Doris spent her life devoted to her husband, children and grandchildren. She stayed home to raise her children until she joined her husband at Waldo Shoe in Belfast.

From there, Doris and Robert bought and ran Nancy’s Dairy Bar in Pittsfield until 1990. At that time, they built the Benton Family Fun-Park, so they would have more time to spend with family. There were many days that you would find Doris either in the ice cream parlor scooping ice cream with her granddaughters or riding bumper cars with her grandsons.

Doris loved being with her family. She would make sure that their bellies were full from feeding them in her house that was above the fun-park. She would sit near the open window and listen to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren playing on the golf course or riding the go-karts. Doris loved the holidays and spending time with “her girls” as she started her annual shopping weekend, which has become a family tradition.

Doris and her family were snowmobile enthusiasts and you could always find them on the mountains, or racing in the fields with her children and grandchildren. They spent a vast amount of time riding the trails in Quebec with family and friends. She was also a French interpreter for her family on many occasions. She enjoyed shopping, relaxing, watching plays with her family, and most of all, date nights with Robert. She always made sure that there wasn’t an empty chair at any holiday dinner, birthday party or just a get-together. Doris was the glue that kept her family together. She had a very special bond with everyone she met. She had an infectious smile and the biggest heart that anyone could ever ask for. Her family is forever grateful for the love she had for them and the love she had and showed to her love, Robert.

Doris was predeceased by her love of her life, Robert Gardner; her parents, Napoleon and Helen; her brother, Raymond; her sister, Yvette (Daigle) Demers; and her son-in-law, Dennis Moody.

Doris is survived by her brother, Paul Daigle; her son, Ernest; her daughters, Marilyn and Dennis Coldwell, Elaine and Wayne Higgins, and Janet Moody; 16 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.

A special thank you to all of her caregivers over the past several years, and to Cindy and Trish, the two caregivers who became part of the family.

Visiting hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30, at Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main St., Fairfield. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 31, at St. John the Baptist Church, 26 Monument St., Winslow. A celebration of life will follow Mass at Fairfield Community Center, 61 Water St., Fairfield.

Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers Funeral & Cremation Care, 107 Main St., Fairfield.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to American Breast Cancer Foundation, 10400 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 480, Columbia, MD 21044