Joe Gardner, 69, of Jacksonville, died Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, at Prairie Village Healthcare Center.
He was born May 17, 1944, in Alton, the son of Bob and Dorothy Stanton Gardner Kehl. He married Sandy Markola on Jan. 12, 1969, in Literberry and she survives.
He is also survived by his father of Jacksonville; two sons, Wayne (Michelle) Gardner and Bill (Kerri) Gardner, both of Jacksonville; three grandchildren, Elijah Gardner, Morgan (Devon) McCumber and Christopher Longley; a great-granddaughter, Reagan McCumber; and his niece, Sarah (Morgan) O’Brien, and nephew, Sean (Kirsten) Erickson. He was preceded in death by his mother; and his brother, Bill Gardner (surviving wife Judy and her husband Eric Erickson of Lamont).
Mr. Gardner was a 1963 graduate of Jacksonville High School. He then enlisted in the US Navy, serving aboard the USS Wright. Being involved with covert missions during the VietNam War, the USS Wright was also the Presidential Ship, serving as the transport ship for both President Kennedy and President Johnson. Mr. Gardner worked nearly 30 years for Mobil Chemical. He had also cooked for the original Triangle Club in Woodson, which was owned by his parents, and enjoyed bartending at the Village Pump at the Blackhawk and other local establishments. He retired from Hertzberg New Method. Mr. Gardner was a member of Central Christian Church. He was also a member of the NRA and was a former member of the Jacksonville Moose Lodge. Joe was a huge Cubs and Bears fan. He enjoyed horseshoes, playing pool, cooking, and was a natural artist. Most of all, he enjoyed meeting people and was well-loved.
Memorial services will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at Buchanan & Cody Funeral Home in Jacksonville, with burial at Diamond Grove Cemetery. The family will meet friends 4-6 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to the charity of the donor’s choice. Condolences may be left at www.buchanancody.com.