Jack R. Gardner, 90, of Iola and formerly of Stevens Point, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 16, 2015 at the Iola Living Assistance care facility which had been his home for the past three years.
Jack was born on the family farm near Granton, Wisconsin (Clark County) on February 15, 1925. The family moved to Racine, Wisconsin in 1928 and Jack attended elementary through high school there, enlisting in the Marine Corps just days before his 18th birthday in 1943. He served the remainder of WWII in the Pacific, after which he operated a garage business in Granton, Wisconsin with his brother for a few years. By 1950, Jack had re-enlisted in the Marine Corps where he found his dream job and became an aircraft mechanic (later squadron leader and instructor.) Then he met the love of his life, Marie. They were married at San Juan Capistrano Mission in 1951 and raised six children as Jack completed 21 years of military service, alternately living on and off base at Cherry Point, North Carolina, with the family returning to Wisconsin during Jack’s overseas deployments to Korea and Japan. The family settled in Stevens Point in the 1960s and Jack worked for about a decade managing Anderson’s Ace Hardware in Park Ridge, Wisconsin. About 1975, Jack realized the dream of owning his own store and opened Jack’s Hardware in Iola, Wisconsin, which he operated until his retirement in 1990. Jack and Marie moved to their home on Hatch Lake, Iola in 1978 where they lived together until her death in 1987. Jack lived on his own at Hatch Lake until 2009 when he joined his daughter Sheila and her family in Ogdensburg, Wisconsin until 2012, when he moved to Iola Living Assistance. Thank you to the staff there for their nurturing atmosphere and loving care.
Jack was preceded in death by: his parents, two sisters, and three grandchildren. Jack is survived by: one brother, Bryce (Bud and Doris) Gardner, Stoughton, Wisconsin; one sister, Ruth Smith, Pekin, Illinois; six children: Barbara (Michael), Jaclyn (Stanley), Timothy (Tracy), Terence (Susan), Sheila (Mark), Barry (Mimi); 12 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Our lives have been enriched by knowing and loving Jack.
Services will be held on Friday, October 23 at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, N2845 Shadow Rd., Waupaca Wisconsin. Visitation at 10:00 a.m., Funeral Mass at 11:00 followed by burial in the church cemetery on High Street in Waupaca.
Thank you to Voie Funeral Services, Iola, Wisconsin for their assistance.