James R. “Dick” Gardner, age 93, of Sherrodsville, died peacefully Wednesday afternoon August 21, 2019 in the Community Hospice Truman House at New Philadelphia surrounded by those whom always sought his comfort.
As with most people of his age, his life was composed of several distinct stages.
He was born October 11, 1925 in Uhrichsville, Ohio and was the son of the late Clarence Granfell and Helen “Gladys” Chaney Gardner. He spent the bulk of his childhood in the Twin Cities area. After attending school in Uhrichsville, he went to work for the Standard Oil Company at a Sohio gas station in Uhrichsville. Shortly thereafter, he was hired by the former Railway Express Agency where he was employed from 1946 - 1969, working in various locations including the Dennison Depot, Dover, and Canton, Ohio. After the REA Express Company went out of business, he took a job with the Timken Company in July of 1969 where he worked at the Gambrinus Plant in Canton until his retirement in 1990.
While roller skating at the former Tuscora Roller Rink in 1949, he met the former June Shirley Heid. Dick and June were married in her parents home on Johnson Avenue in Dover, O. on September 24, 1950 and spent their lives together until June died on February 25, 1999.
They resided for a short time in Dover, Ohio and moved in April of 1955 to the Paradise Street neighborhood in East Sparta where they lived, and raised their family.
During their married life, they spent may years boating and camping at Atwood Lake. Family gatherings during holidays and other occasions highlighted their lives. Dad was never too interested in joining groups or clubs, but instead unfailingly worked hard and concentrated on his family. He was always very handy around the home, skillfully completing most home maintenance projects and automobile repairs on his own.
In 1995, they sold their home in East Sparta and moved to Clearwater Florida. Here, they enjoyed boating in the causeways around Clearwater and the Gulf of Mexico. As ardent baseball fans, they attended many spring training and minor league baseball games. They enjoyed their home in Clearwater, but also made many automobile trips back to Ohio to spend holidays and special occasions with family. It was while living in Clearwater that June became ill, and lost her battle with cancer. Dick continued to live in Clearwater, enjoying the weather and his beloved baseball games until illness forced him to return to his family back in Ohio. While in Ohio, he and his sister Jean French shared residences in both Dennison and in New Philadelphia. But even after his maladies slowed him down, he still enthusiastically attended virtually every family event hosted by one of his children. During these events, he could commonly be heard saying as he surveyed the proceedings “I have the best family in the world ...”
Lovingly known as “Pops” by his entire family, he was a proud father who earned the respect, admiration and affection of all of his children.
Surviving are his children Gary L. (Karen) Gardner, Sr. of Dellroy, O., Mrs. Mary (Don) Whitley of Naples, Florida, James D. (Valerie) Gardner of Sherrodsville, O., and Janet S. Gilbert (Companion Michael Phelps) of Kimbolton, OH, his “kid” sister (Greta) Jean French of Uhrichsville, six grandchildren Gary L. (Noel) Gardner, Jr. of Lewis Center, O., Mrs. Angela (Ray) Bowman of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Stephanie (Barry) Green of Tuscarawas, OH, James O. Gilbert of Massillon, O., Kyle Gardner of Woodbine, Georgia, and Sean T. Gardner of San Angelo, Texas, eight great-grandchildren, and a large family of step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren with whom he was blessed to have shared a portion of their lives. In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by an infant daughter Debbie Sue Gardner and a great-granddaughter Sarah Lynn Grove.
Public calling hours will be held Sunday, August 25, 2019 from 3:00 until 6:00 P.M. in the Baxter-Gardner Funeral Home at Sherrodsville. A private funeral service will be conducted on Monday in the funeral home with Rev. Milo Baker and Rev. Jerralyn Myers officiating. Interment alongside his wife will follow in the Sherrodsville Memorial Gardens. Contributions in Dick’s memory may be made to the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, 400 Center Street, Dennison, Ohio 44621. To leave an online condolence message, please visit the funeral home website.
“An honest man’s pillow is his peace of mind.”
Dennison Railroad Depot Museum
400 Center Street, Dennison OH 44621