Donald Eugene Gardner, 82, longtime resident of West Jefferson, Ohio, avid golfer, sports fan and devoted husband and father, passed away peacefully and on his own terms at Doctor’s West Hospital on June 15, 2019. He is preceded in death by his parents, Edmund and Mary Lou (Lugger) Gardner, brothers-in-law, Johnny, and Gerna Venters, sister-in-law, Faye Hammond, nephew, Josh Venters, niece Penny Venters, and his granddaughter, Rosie Marie Stroud. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years Ada (Venters); sons, David (Pam), Marc (Sandy) and daughter Staci (Chris) Stroud: Granddaughters, Erin (Jason) Pedicini, Scarlet and Grayce Stroud: great-grandchildren, Owen and Ava Pedicini; sister-in-law, Patti (Joe)Frissora and brother-in-law, Bill Venters; many nieces and nephews who adored their Uncle Don. He was born to Ed and Mary Lou in Columbus, Ohio. Don grew up in Clintonville and was a mischievous child. He often told stories of how he and his buddies rode their bikes to Cedar Point or the Mt Air pool, would go sledding down Henderson Road or race in the crash up derby. As a young man, Don graduated from North High School in 1955 (with the promise he would never take Latin again) and held several odd and interesting jobs along the way. After graduation, he started his 38-year career at Ohio Bell. It was there where he met the love of his life and wife of 59 years, Ada. Don and Ada married 41 days after their first date on December 31, 1959, at the North Community Lutheran Church on Morse Rd. A small reception was held at Mary Lou’s house. Shortly after they were married, Don served in the Air National Guard and served several years of active duty overseas. Don and Ada raised three children together in West Jefferson, David, Marc, and Staci. Some of Don’s favorite memories and adventures involved his children, whether it was going to the beach or Disney World when they were younger or when they were grown, his annual golf trip to Myrtle Beach with David and Marc, attending the 2002 National Championship game to cheer on the Buckeyes with his kids, or going to New Orleans for Jazzfest with Staci. Don actively served his community and his church. He served as the president of West Jefferson Community Association in 1989, 1990 and volunteered at the annual community Ox Roast for several years. Don also held several roles serving the First Baptist Church in West Jefferson, in which he and Ada have been members for several years. Those who knew Don knew he had a love for life and was always up for a good time and spending time on a golf course. He loved to dance, travel, work in his yard, tell/play jokes and get a laugh out of everyone he knew. He was a relentless flirt and always had a piece of candy for anyone who wanted one. He also had a good nickname or term of endearment for those who were special to him. Friends may call Wednesday, June 19, 2019, from 5-7 PM at Rader-McDonald-Tidd Funeral Home 1355 W. Main St, West Jefferson, OH, 43162 and Thursday, June 20, 2019 from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM with Celebration of Life to follow at 11:00 AM at the First Baptist Church 686 W. Jefferson Kiousville Rd. SE, West Jefferson, OH 43162. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the First Baptist Church 686 W. Jefferson Kiousville Rd. SE, West Jefferson, OH 43162 or to a charity of your choice.
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
5:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)
RADER-MCDONALD-TIDD FUNERAL HOME
Thursday, June 20, 2019
10:00 - 11:00am (Eastern time)
Thursday, June 20, 2019
Starts at 11:00am (Eastern time)