Bernice Evelyn Gardner (née Sweeden) passed away peacefully at home January 26, 2024 surrounded by family. She was born March 17, 1928, in Marseilles, Illinois to John L. Sweeden and Emma C. Sweeden (née Olsen). Her mother Emma tragically passed away two short weeks after Bernice was born. She is survived by her husband John Gardner, son Michael Battrell (Yvonne), son Mark Battrell, daughter Andrea Knudsen (Douglas), and son Bradley Battrell, stepdaughter Joan Ollmann (Gary), stepson John S. Gardner (Deborah), stepson David Gardner (Christine), as well as eleven grandchildren and step-grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren and step-great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her father John L. Sweeden, mother Emma C. Sweeden (née Olsen), sister Irene Kleinmaier (née Sweeden), brother Gerald Sweeden, sister Margaret Davis (née Sweeden) and beloved daughter Ann Battrell. Bernice was an avid reader, enjoyed needlepoint, and was a passionate gardener alongside her husband. She was a gift. Her passing will be felt by all who loved her and were fortunate to know her. She will be profoundly missed. A visitation is scheduled for Saturday, February 17, 2024, 4-7 pm at Hager Funeral Home in Dwight, Illinois. A private family internment will be held Sunday, February 18, 2024 at Oak Ridge Cemetary, in Springfield, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bernice’s memory to: Morris Hospital Foundation Morton Arboretum