McAuley Alumnae Blog

McAuley High School, Toledo, Ohio

Melissa Mockensturm Gardner ’80 passed away

Posted by mcauleyhighschool on May 12, 2019

Melissa Mockensturm Gardner

Melissa Gardner, (Mel) beloved wife, mother, daughter and sister left this world on May 4, 2019, nine months after pancreatic cancer aggressively changed her life trajectory. Born Melissa Mockensturm on July 30, 1962 in Toledo, Ohio, Mel attended several Catholic grade schools until moving with her family to Denver Colorado in 1979 where she attended Columbine and Evergreen high schools and ultimately graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in molecular and cellular biology. She subsequently worked for several prominent research laboratories at Coors Biotech, Arizona State University and the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ where she met the love of her life, David Gardner. Dave and Mel married in February of 1996 and subsequently welcomed two amazing daughters in Olivia and Emily. After two years as a full-time mom, Mel embarked on a new career path; obtaining a master’s degree in counseling from Argosy University in Phoenix and began her practice as a Clinical Counselor. A natural counselor, she soon built a robust clinical practice and a national reputation as an expert in EMDR counseling therapy. In 2012 Mel and Dave decided to move back to their midwestern roots when Dave accepted a faculty position at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Indianapolis. Despite having to complete additional academic course work for Indiana certification and develop brand new relationships in this new environment, Mel was soon fully established in another thriving clinical practice. Mel also had the joy of developing some of the greatest friendships of her life after moving to Indiana. Never were Mel’s counseling skills more evident than when she counselled us all through her final journey, helping us cope with immense grief, while living out her final days with incredible strength, grace, humor and just enough counseling to keep us all on course.

Mel is survived by her husband, David; and daughters Olivia and Emily; parents, Carl Mockensturm (Geri) and Carol Haas (Fran); sisters, Marylin Genz (Will), Margretta Risi (John), Michele Topor (Joe), and brothers, Mark Mockensturm (Rob Salem) and Mike Mockensturm;, several nieces and nephews; and a wonderful group of devoted friends and colleagues across the country.

A memorial service will be held on May 15, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. at ARN Mortuary in Zionsville, Indiana followed by a gathering to celebrate her life at 4:30 p.m. A service will also be held in Toledo, Ohio on May 23rd at 4:00 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church 104 W. Broadway St., Maumee OH 43537. Dinner to follow at Brandywine Country Club, 6904 Salisbury Road, Maumee OH 43537

The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network: https://www.pancan.org or to EMDRIA, the EMDR International Association: https://www.emdria.org.

Funeral Home

Aaron-Ruben-Nelson Funeral Home Inc
11411 N. Michigan Rd. Zionsville, IN 46077
317-873-4776


Published in The Blade from May 12 to May 13, 2019

 

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