It is with great sadness that the family of Thomas J. Gardner, 85, of Greenville, SC announces his passing on April 6, 2018 after a valiant battle with Parkinson’s disease. Tom will lovingly be remembered by his wife of 26 years, Alexandra M. Gardner; his children, Beth Taylor, Meg Jones and Kenneth Gardner; and brother, Jim Gardner of Burnsville, NC. He also leaves behind seven precious grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Tom was born in 1932 in Syracuse, NY to Truman and Clara Gardner. He served in the US Navy during the Korean conflict, played basketball at Syracuse University, and in 1958 graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.
Tom began his art career as a commercial artist, and over his lifetime received more than fifty American Advertising Association awards for his creative outdoor advertising designs. In 1988 he was selected as National Creative Director of the Year by the Morris Communications Group, and in 1999 he received the Jane Wyman Arthritis Foundation Humanitarian Award. Following his retirement from Fairway Outdoor Advertising in 2001, Tom’s interests turned to abstract painting. He operated a successful contemporary art gallery in Palm Desert, CA where he resided from 1997 – 2016, and exhibited his work in numerous art galleries across the country.
Tom will be remembered by his many friends and family for his wit and generosity, his love of sports; especially golf and college basketball, and his devotion to the Lord Jesus, whom he accepted as his personal Savior in 1990.
A memorial service for Tom is planned at a future date. The family especially thanks Joy and Cheryl from SouthernCare Regency Hospice for their constant and attentive treatment of Tom during his illness, and Palmetto Mortuary for handling final arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Tom’s memory to the Greenville Area Parkinson Society, Greenville, SC, Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley, Palm Desert, CA, or Desert Springs Church, Palm Desert, CA.