John Elmer Gardner Jr., 84, Milford, passed away Saturday, March 18, at Miller's Merry Manor in Syracuse.
He was born June 14, 1932, to John Elmer Gardner Sr. and Florence Estella (Orn) Gardner in Milford.
John graduated from Milford High School and went on to honorably serve his country in the United States Navy as an air flight instructor during the Korean Conflict. During his service, he received training to be an electrician, which he put to use at Koontz Wagner Electric Company for many years.
John was an active outdoorsman. He loved the woods and spending time with his horses. He enjoyed hunting and was a member of Ducks Unlimited, Pope and Young Club, National Wild Turkey Federation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He always looked forward to his annual hunting trips to Colorado and Alaska.
John was a dedicated volunteer in the community and enjoyed visiting nursing homes. He also loved advocating for the Honor Flight, which he was privileged to take in October 2015. He would tell other service members about his experience and encourage them to participate in the program.
John was a member of Milford Christian Church, the Electrical IBEW, a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. He also enjoyed having a cup of coffee with friends at the local Stop 'n Go.
John will be missed by his wife of 26 years, Cinda Gardner, Milford; his children, John L. (Kathleen) Gardner, Durango, Colorado, Kimberly (Dennis) Fusco, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Daniil Gardner and Elena Gardner, both of Milford; a grandson, Jason R. (Tara) Graff, Elkhart; a great-grandson, Cole L. Graff, Elkhart; and two sisters, Leatrice Rapp, Milford and Marilyn Haney, Goshen.
Friends and family will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at Mishler Funeral Home and Cremation Center, Milford.
A funeral service in honor of John is set for 10 a.m. Friday, March 24, at Milford Christian Church. Pastor Rick Brouillette will officiate.
Burial with military honors will follow at the Milford Cemetery.
Family and friends are invited a lunch gathering at the church immediately following the graveside service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Honor Flight NE IN, P.O. Box 5, Huntertown, IN 46748 or Milford Christian Church, 201 N. Henry St., Milford, IN 46542.
Published on March 21, 2017