John David Gardner ’56 died on June 18, 2011, in Walnut, California.
(The following was published in The Los Angeles Times on June 22, 2011:)
John David Gardner passed away at Emeritus Villa Colima Assisted Living Facility in Walnut, California, on June 18, 2011. He was born April 22, 1935, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the son of Richard Blaine Gardner and Dorothy Rollins Gardner, and brother to Richard Gardner. He graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, following which he served for two years as an officer in the U.S. Army, mostly in France. Dave worked for U.S. Borax and Chemical Corporation for twenty-five years as a product manager for 20 Mule Team Borax. He continued his work in product management with several corporations throughout his career. He and his beloved wife Nancy enjoyed being a Team Couple in Methodist Marriage Encounter. They sailed together on cruises all over the world and celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with their family while cruising in the Caribbean. Dave’s great passion was sailing, and he volunteered many years in the Los Angeles Maritime Institute Top Sail Youth Program, where he helped inner city teens build confidence while learning how to sail. He was an active member of Toastmasters in Hacienda Heights and enjoyed writing and delivering humorous speeches, which won him several awards. He thrived on mentoring new members and was dearly loved by his Toastmasters family. In Dave’s later years, he was a prolific writer of children’s stories, where he showcased his gentle wit and strong sense of values. Dave is survived by Nancy, his loving wife of fifty-two years, his son Stephen, daughter Dawn, brother Richard Gardner, sister Diane Premo, and his beloved cat Shadow. Dave also leaves four grandchildren (Jake, Nathan, Owen, and William Gardner) and his stepmother, Helen Gardner. Dave was a true gentleman, known for his dry sense of humor, compassion for others and unwavering love and devotion for his family. He will be greatly missed.