Emma Gardiner, 24, Victoria, BC, Kemptville, ON, Glace Bay, NS

Emma Renae Gardiner, 24, Victoria, BC, Kemptville, ON, Glace Bay, NS

1999 - 2024

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Obituary of Emma Renae Gardiner, 24, Victoria, BC, Kemptville, ON, Glace Bay, NS

We are heartbroken to announce the sudden passing of our beloved Emma Renae Gardiner, age 24, daughter of Tammy (Shaw) and Rick Gardiner, sister to Alex, and life partner of Skylar Bolton, on February 16, 2024 at her home in Victoria, BC at 24 years of age due to an Epileptic Seizure/SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy).

Emma was born on Tuesday, July 13, 1999 at the Glace Bay General Hospital in Glace Bay, Cape Breton, NS. Shortly after, she and her family moved to Eastern Passage, NS when her Dad was posted to 12 Wing Shearwater for four years.  In August 2005, she and her family then moved to Kemptville, ON for a posting to Ottawa.


Emma was diagnosed with Epilepsy when she was three years old but it never slowed her down.  She was a happy and active child who participated in many activities throughout her school years, including ballet, swimming, cross country running, Sparks, Brownies, Girl Guides, and basketball.  She loved camping with her family and summer trips home to Cape Breton.

From an early age, Emma decided that she wanted to become an Early Childhood Educator (ECE), and she worked hard in High School to achieve this goal, took a Leadership Course and worked as a Camp Counsellor four summers in a row in Kemptville.  She was also active in Dance and Prom Committee.  Emma graduated from North Grenville District High School in June 2017 and was presented with four awards during the ceremony.

She attended Algonquin College Waterfront Campus in Pembroke, ON for the ECE Program.  During her time at Algonquin, she was awarded the Sens Foundation Bursary, and officially graduated in June 2020 during the COVID pandemic, which postponed the actual Convocation Ceremony until June 2022.  

After graduating, Emma worked in Kemptville at More Than Just Babysitting, Holy Cross Elementary School, and Little Caesars, all at the same time. Emma loved working with children and developed special bonds with many of the children and their families. She enjoyed photography, movies, painting crafts, shopping, spending time with friends, and searching for sea glass on the beaches of Cape Breton. She loved Halloween and Christmas time and she enjoyed decorating for both every year.

In January 2023, she moved to Victoria, BC with the love of her life, Skylar.  They drove from Ontario to Victoria to begin their new adventure together, where Skylar was posted in the Navy at CFB Esquimalt and Emma was working as an ECE.  They had adopted two little kittens, Pumpkin and Cinder, and were enjoying their time with their new fur babies while making plans for their future together.

Emma is survived by her parents, Tammy (Shaw) and Rick Gardiner (Kemptville, ON), her younger brother Alex (at home), and her life partner, Skylar Bolton (Victoria, BC).  She is also survived by her maternal grandparents, Garfield and Jean (Boutilier) Shaw (Glace Bay, NS), and her paternal grandparents, Rick and Jean (Morford) Gardiner (Glace Bay, NS), as well as many extended family members and friends.  Emma was predeceased by her great aunt Cheryl (Gardiner) Quirk in February 2023 and her cousin, Dylan Chant in April 2023.  Cremation has taken place. 

Visitation will be held Thursday, May 16, 2024 from 6pm – 8pm at the Kemptville Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 805 Prescott Street, Kemptville, ON

Visitation will also be held on Thursday, July 11th, 2024 from 6-8 pm in V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home, 16 Reserve Street, Glace Bay, NS.

The funeral mass will be celebrated on Friday, July 12th, 2024 at 12 (noon) in Holy Cross Church, Glace Bay, NS with a reception to follow. Fr. Norman MacPhee presiding.

On line condolences to the family can be expressed at: www.vjmcgillivray.ca

Donations in memory of Emma may be made to Epilepsy OntarioEpilepsy Association of the MaritimesOttawa Humane Society, Cape Breton SPCA, 401E Boadway, Sydney, NS B1N 3K1 or the charity of your choice.