Clyde J. Gardner

Published 3:35 pm Friday, July 6, 2018

Clyde J. Gardner, 88, of Bermuda Run, died in his home on July 5, 2018.

He lived out his life’s motto, “with faith and family anything is possible.” Lovingly referred to by his family as “King,” he lifted up those who loved him. His larger than life presence was felt not only by his physical stature when he entered a room or when he reached his arms around you, but also when he listened as though you were the only person there. Born Feb. 26, 1930 in Newton, Iowa to Clyde Gardner Sr. and Jenny Evelyn Botsford-Gardner, he was one of 6 children.

He is preceded in death by: his parents; siblings, Claudine Allen, Marjorie Sents, Evelyn Owens, John Gardner; stepmother, Ruth Gardner; stepbrother, Bob Rooney, and grandson, Andrew Joseph Gardner.

He was a four-year letterman from the University of Iowa where he was a member of the men’s track and football teams. He held the national and world high school record for discus throw at 179-2.75 from 1949-1963 when the grandson of a college friend broke his record. He met Sherry Reichardt, his “pretty girl,” in the spring of 1949. On a cold afternoon before Christmas 1950, he confessed to her, “I haven’t asked anyone’s permission, but I think I’d like you to be my wife and the mother of my children.” One year later, on Dec. 1, 1951, they were married tin St. Mary’s Church in Iowa City, IA. While in college he worked for the A&P Grocery Store as the assistant manager and The Great Lakes Pipeline. After college, he accepted a position with W.R. Grace & Co. where he worked for more than 30 years as a salesman in the packaging industry, often being the top salesman. In 1992 he earned Salesman of the Year and was awarded the Sterling Trophy. As his job moved him from Iowa to Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas and finally to North Carolina, one of the great joys in his life was to coach Little League football, making a difference in young men’s lives. After retirement, he and Sherry dedicated their lives to serving their community through civic and spiritual communities and providing hospice care. In 1999 he helped incorporate and establish the town of Bermuda Run, where he was the town’s first mayor. They were founding members of Holy Family Catholic Church in Clemmons. The joy of his life was his family. Writing his own story, he gifted his bride a “Christmas in July” celebration by bringing together all of their children for a summer family vacation at Ocean Isle Beach. Each year for the past four decades since this tradition began, he looked forward to the annual beach trip where his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren gather. A golfer, he loved to travel. He and Sherry enjoyed trips to Scotland, Ireland, England and Italy, as well as cruises to Alaska, The Mediterranean, Hawaii, through the Panama Canal and an annual cruise to the Bahamas with their children.

Survivors: his wife of 66 years, Sherry Gardner; his children, Susan (Doyle) Rankins of Arkansas; Jeanne (Charles) McDarris of Florida; Patricia (Alan) Canon of N.C.; Joseph Gardner of Arkansas; Anne Peters (John Martin) of N.C.; John (Kyra) Gardner of N.J.; Mary Fink of N.C., and Sarah Shanks of N.C.; his grandchildren, Ellen (Jason) Rankins-Edwards, Sherry (Neely) Rankins-Robertson, Matthew (Jamie) Rankins, Ben (Tricia) Canon, Sarah (Jim) Canon-Goff, Garret Gardner, Reed (Zoe) Gardner, Elizabeth Peters, Margaret Peters, Alex Gardner, Nicholas Gardner, Mackenzie (Bryson) Gardner-Fonville, Nathan Fink, Daniel Fink, Chad Fink, Tessa Fink, David (Kayla) Shanks, Robert Shanks, and Katherine (Bryce) Shanks-Hood; his great-grandchildren, Jordan, Ethan, Madeline, John, Ethan, Molly, Olivia, Hayden, Drew, Evyn, Tyler, Boston, Hailey, Madison, and Jackson; and a host of nieces, nephews, and loving friends.

The family will receive friends from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, July 8 at Hayworth-Miller Kinderton Chapel. A funeral mass will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church on Monday, July 9 at 11n a.m. with Father Peter Nouck officiating.

Memorials: Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston-Salem, 27103; Brenner Children’s Hospital, 1 Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem,  27157; or a charity of your choice.