Gary Neil Gardner
10/11/1949 - 09/20/2022
Obituary For Gary Neil Gardner
Gary Neil Gardner of Hendersonville died at home from complications of Parkinson’s disease on September 20, 2022.
Gary was born on October 11, 1949 in Salisbury, North Carolina and grew up in Jamestown. He enjoyed his years at Ragsdale High School and was happy to see his classmates again at their 50th class reunion in 2017, where he was still recognizable from his 1967 yearbook photo. He attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and subsequently received an A.A. degree in arts and sciences from Shoreline Community College in 2000 while living in Seattle.
During his career in food sales of over 35 years, Gary loved all facets of his work but specialized in health care products for hospitals and senior living centers. Dietary managers relied on him for product information and often invited him to speak at their meetings. He was an excellent cook himself and enjoyed grocery shopping.
Gary and Pat Jones were married in 1988 and shared many adventures during their years together, including travel to Europe and Alaska. They developed shag dancing skills in Myrtle Beach, hiked in the Northwest while living in Seattle, and took ukulele lessons in Hendersonville.
Gary was very clever at word play, and when he and Pat got together with Pat’s sister Jackie, their improvised and sometimes risqué puns flew fast and furious around the room. Gary knew a lot about music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s and loved classic car shows. His knowledge of trivia was extensive, making him a frequent winner on pub trivia nights.
After he retired in 2011, Gary volunteered at the North Myrtle Beach Library and was so well-liked so that he was hired for a permanent position. He enjoyed every aspect of library work, including shelving books, assisting clients, and interacting with other staff members. He loved reading, particularly history and biography, and couldn’t live without a daily newspaper.
Talking by telephone with his daughter Angie nearly every week was a priority for Gary, particularly when he lived so far away from her in Seattle. He enjoyed hearing about his grandsons’ activities and interesting lives. Both grandsons are talented soccer players, and he and Pat traveled to their games when possible.
Gary is survived by his wife Pat; daughter, Angela Hartman; grandsons, Raif and Lane Hartman; and nieces Wendy Murphy and Amy Gardner. He was preceded in death by his parents Helen and John Gardner and brother John.
Gary’s memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 30 at Grace Lutheran Church, 1245 6th Avenue West, Hendersonville, North Carolina. The service will also be live-streamed on the Grace Lutheran website (www.gracehendersonville.com). A reception for family and guests will be held in Stull Hall at Grace Lutheran following the service.
The family is deeply grateful for the support of Dr. Betsy Merrell and staff, the Hendersonville Movement for Life Physical Therapy staff, friends in the Brevard-Hendersonville Parkinson’s Support Group, staff at Four Seasons palliative, hospice, and home care of Hendersonville, and Pat Gardner’s sister, Jackie Jones. Memorials may be made to Living Waters Lutheran Church, Food Pantry, 30 Locust Branch Road, Cherokee, NC 28719.
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