Leah Belle Sachs Gardner

September 3, 2020

Obituaries

Silver Spring, Md.—Leah Belle Sachs Gardner, 89, passed away peacefully on August 30, 2020. A memorial service for immediate family was held at Beth Joseph Agudath Sholom Cemetery in Madison Heights, Va.
Leah Belle was born and raised in Lexington, Va. She was the neighborhood’s fastest running back, lettered in basketball in high school, and was a skilled equestrienne. She earned a bachelor of arts in Fine Arts from Mary Washington College, where she served in the Cavalry during WWII.

She met the love of her life, Dr. Robert D. (Bob) Gardner, when her brother brought Bob home from UVA for Thanksgiving dinner. After their marriage, Leah Belle became a homemaker, and while raising four children, she volunteered her time and talents to many organizations, including the Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, Agudath Sholom Synagogue, and the Virginia School of the Arts. Her talents were many: artist, sculptor, costumer, seamstress, actress, writer, and teacher. She was honored by the YWCA Academy of Women with the Arts and Culture Award, and received the Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.

Survivors include her sons Todd (Lori) Gardner of Silver Spring, Md., Greg (Debra) Gardner of Lake Lure, N.C., and daughter Shayne Gardner of Arlington, Va. She is predeceased by her husband Robert D. Gardner, and daughter Jill Gardner. She is also survived by her brother, Leonard “Bert” Sachs of Norfolk, Va.; three grandchildren, Joshua (Maya) Gardner, Alana (Akiva) Landsman and Jake Gardner (Bethany); and two great-granddaughters Yves Gardner-Barak and Sage Landsman. Memorial contributions may be made to the Jill Gardner Memorial Scholarship Fund through the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation and Agudath Sholom Synagogue. To send a condolence to the family, visit whittenfuneralhome.com.

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