Graveside services for Mrs. Joan Ethel Strickland Gardner Day, 84, of Thomasville will be held at 11:00 am (10 AM Marianna time), Thursday, August 8, 2019 at Pinecrest Memorial Gardens, 3720 Caverns Rd, Marianna, FL 32446. She passed away July 27, 2019. Just before the break of day, mother slipped away into eternal rest. Born July 9, 1935 to Mr. Frank and Mrs. Eula Strickland of Marianna, FL, she was the second of three children; her brothers Frank and Kelly Strickland predeceased her. Mrs. Day graduated from the Jackson county school system in 1953. She went on to earn her Bachelors and M.A. from George Washington University. She worked in Pittsburgh, PA for 21 years as the conservator for the Carnegie museum of Natural History. After Retirement as a small museum assessor in the southern region of the U.S. of local interest, she helped the Jack Hadley Museum of Black History acquire a grant for improvements. Mrs. Day would marry the first boy that she fell in love with, William Milton Gardner (“Squashy”); to this union was born one child, son Benjamin Ashley Gardner. She met her 2nd husband, James Ream Day at her 50th high school class reunion. She would quip about marrying a “squashy” and a “squeaky.” Mr. Day, who preceded her in death, showered her with everlasting love as she would often smile at the mention of his name. Mrs. Day enjoyed sharing memories of her time with her husband, gardening, shopping, laughing, loving, and living life to the fullest. Her days were spent telling others about the adventures of her days with the flying High Circus of Florida State University of Tallahassee, FL, a book she read, and the daily life of her beloved 15 year old mixed poodle and terrier named affectionately J.J. (short for James and Joan). She had a full and good life. The family would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Jason Griffin MD of Thomasville, GA; Lewis Hall Singletary Oncology Center staff: thank you for loving what you do for the patients; Hospice of Southwestern Georgia: thank God for those earthly ministering angels; Ms. Cindy Granger: constant friend and companion; colleague and friend Mr. Jim and Mrs. Judy Richardson and family and staff of the Carnegie Museum of natural History of Pittsburgh, PA; devoted and lifelong friend Mrs. Margaret and Dan Curtis of Atlanta, GA; honorable friend and attorney at law Mr. William Blackburn of Whitehurst, Blackburn, and Warren of Thomasville, GA; English Department Professors of Valdosta State University for their support; Sister Erlean Douglas of the Soup Kitchen of Thomasville, GA for her prayers, love, and support; Christ Community Presbyterian Church of Thomasville, GA and pastor Trey Jackson for their support. Survivors include her devoted and loving son Benjamin Gardner (Janice); 4 grandchildren; a host of family and friends, and her dog, J.J. Mom-go in peace and be with God. Family and friends are invited to visit her online tribute page at


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