CARTHAGE, NY — Leon K. Gardner, 85, died Friday evening, Sept. 7, 2018, at SUNY Upstate Medical Hospital, Syracuse, surrounded by his loving family.
Leon was born on Jan. 26, 1933, in Carthage, a son of the late George K. and Mary (Martin) Gardner. He received his GED. At 17 years old, he enlisted in the United States Army as a heavy artillery engineer and inspector.
On April 7, 1956, he married Shirley Arlene Burr in Carthage.
Upon being discharged from active duty military, he worked as a State Trooper in Carthage for a short time. He also worked at Crown Zellerbach Paper Mill and Crooks Memorial, before going on to work at Fort Drum in the tool warehouse. He enlisted in the National Guard, eventually retiring from the military after 20 years of service.
He consistently held multiple jobs to provide for his family, including bartending, freelance plumbing, logging, and driving for Lundy Services Medical Transport.
Leon was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and boating. He loved to dance with his wife Shirley and their daughters. You could often find him tinkering around as he was a mechanic who loved to fix things. Most of all, he loved spending time with his family at reunions and gatherings.
Leon is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Shirley; six children, Nancy (Peter) Gardner Finn of Sheffield, MA; Kenneth (Sue) Gardner of Nassau, NY; Bonnie Jean (Steve) Gardner Sabo of Williamstown, NY; Jody (Cullen) Gardner Countryman of Dexter, NY; Ronald (Elizabethe) Gardner of Averill Park, NY; and Sally (Larry Campany) Gardner of Three Mile Bay, NY; three sisters, Yvonne O’Connor of Natural Bridge, NY; Gloria Ainsworth of Brownville, NY; and Linda (Jim) Rupert of Castorland; as well as 27 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Calling hours will be held 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 6, 2018, at the Calvary Assembly of God Church in West Carthage. A Celebration of Life reception will be held later that day at 5:00 p.m. at the Brownville American Legion Post 588.
Arrangements are entrusted to Lundy Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Inc.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the ALS Association at www.als-ny.org, in honor of his son, Kenneth.