Maude S. Gardiner, 90, a lifelong resident of St. Mary's County, Md. where she taught school and later managed her husband's 300-acre tobacco farm, died of cardiac arrest Friday at St. Mary's Nursing Home in Leonardtown, Md.

Known locally as "Miss Maude," Mrs. Gardiner was born in Dynard, Md., one of 15 children. She graduated from St. Mary's Academy and taught in St. Mary's County public schools before her marriage in 1912 to William H. Gardiner. She helped her husband run their tobacco farm, Harrow Hills, in Chaptico, Md., until his death in 1916. Mrs. Gardiner then took over the farm's operations and later was joined by a son, William, until his death in 1968.

Mrs. Gardiner lived at Harrow Hills until 1976, when she moved to the nursing home.

In the late 1920s, she served as a member of a commission appointed by the governor of Maryland to oversee operations of the county's Alms House. In the 1940s, she served two terms on the St. Mary's County Board of Education.

Mrs. Gardiner was a member of Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic Church in Chaptico. She was a past president of St. Mary's Rural Women's Club and a member of local bridge and garden clubs.

Survivors inclue a son, Alfred W., of Arlington; a brother, Matthew X. Stone of St. Inigoes, Md., two grandchildren and a great-grandson.