John Elmer Gardner, Jr., 84, Milford, passed away Saturday, March 18, 2017 at Miller’s Merry Manor in Syracuse.
He was born on 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 US 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 Colorado and Alaska hunting trips. 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 of 2015, and would go tell other service men and women about his experience, encouraging them to participate in the program.
John was a member of Milford Christian Church, the Electrical IBEW, a lifetime member of the VFW 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 of Milford; his children, John L. (Kathleen) Gardner of Durango, Colo.; Kimberly (Dennis) Fusco of Hilton Head Island, S.C.; Daniil Gardner of Milford; and Elena Gardner of Milford; a grandson, Jason R. (Tara) Graff of Elkhart; a great-grandson, Cole L. Graff of Elkhart; and two sisters, Leatrice Rapp of Milford and Marilyn Haney of Goshen.
A funeral service in honor of John will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, March 24, at Milford Christian Church. Pastor Rick Brouillette will officiate and burial with Military Honors will follow at the Milford Cemetery. Gathering with family and friends for lunch at the Milford Christian Church immediately following the graveside service.
Friends and family will be received from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, March 23, 2017 at Mishler Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Milford.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Honor Flight NE IN, PO Box 5, Huntertown, IN 46748 or the Milford Christian Church, 201 N Henry St, Milford, IN 46542.