Clara Angela Gardiner (Flerlage), 92,

December 31, 2022

Clara Angela Gardiner (Flerlage), 92, of Hughesville, MD, peacefully passed away on December 16, 2022.

On July 10, 1930, Clara was born to the late August and Helen Margaret Flerlage in Gallant Green, Waldorf, MD.

After graduating from La Plata High School in 1948, she went on to work as a toll collector at the Benedict bridge and 301 bridge. She then went to work at the Hughesville Drug store where she worked alongside her future mother-in-law, Ella Gardiner. Mrs. Gardiner thought she would be a wonderful match for her son, Joseph Harold, and introduced them.  After they married Harold reenlisted back into the Air Force and this would start their adventure to travel the world. Momma said this is where she started her United Nations with the birth of her children.

They were married on August 7, 1954, and went on to have six children, J. Edward Gardiner (Beverly) of Chaptico, MD, Francis A. Gardiner (Cindy) of Waldorf, MD, Michael E. Gardiner (Dawn) of Westminster, MD, Carolyn R. Rhodes (Timmy) of Prince Frederick, MD, Angela M. Pasqual (Michael) of Silver Spring, MD, and Susan A. Saluter (Chip) of Hughesville, MD.

She was a homemaker. She loved to read but what brought her the most joy was spending time with her children and grandchildren. She was very devout in her Catholic faith always praying the rosary daily and praying daily for her family. She was also a lifetime member of the Ladies Auxiliary with the American Legion Post 238 of Hughesville, MD.

Clara was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Harold Gardiner, her parents, August and Helen Janssen Flerlage, brothers, Bill, Herman, August, Henry, Karl, and Alfred Flerlage, sisters Erna Flerlage Kreft and Clara Mary Flerlage, as well as her grandson, Michael Petrecca. She is survived by her six children, 16 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.

On December 22, 2022, the family will receive friends for the visitation from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm with prayers at 6:00 pm at Brinsfield Funeral Home & Crematory, P.A., 30195 Three Notch Road, Charlotte Hall, MD 20622. The following day, December 23, 2022, a mass will be held at 11:00 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 13715 Notre Dame Place Bryantown, MD 20617. Interment will follow after the mass in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Alzheimer’s Association.

Condolences can be made to the family at

Arrangements by Brinsfield Funeral Home & Crematory, P.A., Charlotte Hall, MD.