Abraham Gardner, 94, world traveler and community volunteer

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Abraham Gardner
Abraham Gardner

Abraham Gardner, 94, died Sept. 26, 2016.

Abraham Gardner was born in North Adams, Mass. on April 18, 1922. He is proceeded in death by his mother, Dorothy Haskins, his father, Abraham Gardner Sr., his first wife, Jeanne Marie Gardner, and his step-son, Curtis Parker.

Raised in Bennington, Vermont, his best memories as a child were visiting his maternal grandparents 600 acre home in Savoy, Mass., which is now a state park. He watched his grandfather paint landscapes. And because of those paintings, at an early age, he dreamed of seeing the world.

He graduated the University of Minnesota with a degree in Metallurgical Engineering and entered the work force, which was put on hold when WWII broke out. He enlisted in the Navy and served our country as captain of a 1351 sub chaser in the Caribbean. After the war, he returned to Minnesota where he met, fell in love, and married Jeanne Marie Schroeer. He moved to Butte, Montana to work for eight years at the Anaconda Mining Company and was blessed with two sons, Richard Gardner (wife Marilyn) and Alan Gardner (wife Gwen).

Moving to Japan, he worked for the army as a Civil Servant where his third son, Brookins Gardner (wife Jodi) was born. A few years later, while in Germany, Laura Huben was born.

Returning to the states, he was reassigned to the Pentagon and from there to Ft. Monroe, Virginia where he retired as Safety Director for TRADOC.

He met his second love, Kay, while continuing his travels with a guided tour group in Turkey. They were married in 2000, added a step-daughter, Ashlie Parker-Slepicka (husband Charles) to the family, and continued to travel the world. He told Kay often that she was his rock.

The patriarch of a large extended family, he is also survived by seven grandchildren; Meredith Gardner, Ainsley and Drew Gardner, Amanda, Kelly and Paige Huben, and Anna Gardner, and two step-grandchildren; Timothy and Mathew Cobb.

In addition to his long and successful career, travels, and love for his family, Abe also had a long history of giving his time and talents to others. After retirement, he volunteered as a docent at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News and the Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe. He led a group that rehabbed homes and provided free tax counseling for senior citizens in Hampton. Reading to kindergartners at Barron Elementary brought him much joy, and he was involved in the ROCT children’s program in the Hampton schools.

On Monday he was tired and left this world with a Heineken in his hand to continue his travels in another. Services will take place at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg, VA on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 11:00AM.

Donations can be made to the Williamsburg United Methodist Respite Program, 500 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185 or Williamsburg Hospice House, 4445 Powhatan Pkwy, Williamsburg, VA 23188.
Lastly, a note to Tara Harris who, in the final days, was the rock of the Gardner household. It is with the greatest of admiration for your unwavering support and insurmountable comfort that we thank you.

Online condolences can be made here.