Richard "Dick" M. Gardner, 84, of Hope, passed at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, October 8, 2017 at Franciscan Health in Greenwood.
A funeral service will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at Hope United Methodist Church with Pastor Ed Cottrell officiating. Viewing will be from 11 a.m. until time of service Friday, Oct. 13th, at the church. Burial will follow at Vernon Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Alzheimer's Association.
Born Sept. 7, 1933 in Logansport, Ind., Dick was the son of Walter H. and Estella K. Miller Gardner. He graduated from Muncie Central High School in 1951. Immediately after graduating, Dick joined the United States Army and served two years at Ft. Huachuca in Arizona. After the military, Dick moved back to Muncie and attended Ball State University. He married Carol Alexander on Dec. 14, 1962, and she survives.
As a purchasing agent, Dick retired from Arvin Industries in 1998.
Dick had many interests and hobbies, which included flying. He earned his private pilot's license at the age of 16 and enjoyed flying with family and friends. Other interests included photography, traveling, watching and attending sporting events and loved watching NASCAR.
Of all his interests, Dick's family was the most important and the center of everything in his life. Dick and wife, Carol are blessed with five children: Rick (Vicki) Gardner, Tony (Teena Wellman) Gardner, Cindy (Tony) McIntyre, Susan (Kevin) Lashley, and Tracy (Mike) Wallace; seven grandchildren: Casey (Todd) Boilanger, Sam (Tori) Gardner, Brandon (Sydney) McIntyre, Lindsey McIntyre, Ryan (Brittanie) Wallace, Evan Wallace, and Emily (Nick Kelsay) Wallace; seven great-grandchildren: Jack, Owen, Reed, Emma, Jackson, Lainey, and Quinn; and sister, Patricia Hawley.
Dick and wife, Carol enjoyed traveling. They made many trips across the U.S., but especially enjoy their trips to Arizona, Minnesota, and Florida. There was also a special place in Dick's heart for his dog, Tootsie (affectionately referred to as the "Favorite Child") who often traveled with them on these trips.
Dick's generosity and compassion reached many lives. He often helped family, friends, and even strangers in need. Dick enjoyed his time as the trip coordinator for the Senior Center. As a member of the Hope United Methodist Church, he served as Liturgist for many years. But most importantly to Dick's heart, were the trips he made to the Lakota Indian Reservation to deliver needed supplies and services to the children and families of the reservation. He was also a member of the North Vernon Jaycees, Hope Optimist Club, and Hope Lions Club.
He is preceded in death by his parents.
Online condolences may be sent to the Gardner family at www.normanfuneralhome.net.