Dec. 25, 1971 – Dec. 7, 2012
Dina Leigh Gardner came into this world on Christmas Day 1971 and passed away on Dec. 7, 2012. Dina was raised in Davis and graduated from Davis High School in 1990. She graduated from Westmont College in 1994. She received her master of divinity degree from the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1999 at Davis Community Church. She also completed the master of intuition medicine program at the Academy of Intuition Medicine in Sausalito.
Dina’s contributions to the community included serving as intern at Sausalito Presbyterian, minister of retreats and faith formation at University of San Francisco, as well as an adjunct faculty member teaching social and administrative ethics. Dina worked for five years as director of development and outreach at Novato Human Needs Center, where she especially enjoyed working with the community at the center’s Holiday Share Program. Dina had a private practice offering a range of pastoral services as an ordained Presbyterian minister and spiritual life coach.
As an ordained minister, Dina touched congregations and individuals through her leadership and companioning of people during life’s most sacred moments, including baptisms, weddings and funerals. According to fellow clergy and friend, Katherine Racine, Dina had the capacity to do all kinds of things incredibly well — lead retreats, teach yoga, offer life coaching and healing practices, travel the world — but more important than all the things she did was how she chose to be in the world. She believed that each person has a unique spiritual path and worked with people in their struggles to come to know and expand their interior strengths. Dina said, “I feel it is an incredible honor when people allow you into their lives — their struggles and their joys.”
Dina faced every challenge as an opportunity, including her own struggle with sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. According to a close friend, Beth Brown, Dina’s core attitude was the same toward cancer as it was toward every situation she faced in life — with deep faith and with a sense that cancer, like all challenges, is an opportunity for growth.
Dina approached every person she met and every situation she found herself in with profound grace and gratitude. She lives on in our memories as we journey on with her by our side. Dina is survived by her husband Edgar Meza of San Rafael and her mother and stepfather, Barbara and Bill Greene of Davis. She was a beloved sister to Patrick Gardner and his wife Naomi of El Cerrito and loving aunt to twins Ella and Ronan. She is also survived by her father and stepmother, Russell and Lauren Gardner, stepsister Katy Church and her children Hannah and husband Chris, Sarah, Genevieve and Bill of Virginia, and stepsister Jennifer Harris, her husband Don and their children Elizabeth, Ian and Emma of Sacramento. Dina was a caring niece to her Uncle Louis and Aunt Suzanne of Petaluma.
Please join in the celebration of Dina’s life on Thursday, Dec. 27, at 3 p.m. at Davis Community Church, 412 C St, Davis; 530-753-2894.