Navarre Funeral Home & Cremation Services

2444 Rollingbrook Drive, Baytown, TX


Dan Frank Gardner

July 11, 1927November 20, 2019

Dan Frank Gardner, 92, of Baytown, passed away November 20, 2019. He was born in Frankston, Texas, on July 11, 1927, to I. D. & Grace Gardner. He met his beautiful sweetheart, Nelda Ruth (Finch) Gardner, in the student registration line at East Texas Baptist College. Two months later, on November 9th, 1947, they were married. They lacked less than a month of marking 69 years together when she passed in October, 2016.

Dan was a faithful minister of the Lord Jesus Christ his whole life. He served Bedias Baptist Church while finishing Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, then First Baptist Church of Kountze, Central Baptist Church of Baytown, and First Baptist Church of Cleveland before serving as Director of Alumni Relations at East Texas Baptist College. During his tenure there, he served many churches as interim and pulpit supply. Then he went back into the full-time pastorate, serving happily at Brookwood Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. In retirement, Dan and Nelda fulfilled a life-long dream of missionary service. They served, ironically enough, first as interim pastor at Gardiner Baptist Church in Gardiner, Wyoming. Then the foreign service began with interim pastorates in Wiesbaden, Germany; Jurbise, Belgium; as well as Kobe, Tokyo and Okinawa, Japan.

He is survived by his children: Cherry and Doug Barfoot, Dana and Danny Biddy, Frank and Cynthia Gardner, and Jack and Barbara Gardner; also grandchildren: David and Mary Barfoot, Jon and Jennifer Barfoot, Jeff and Amy Biddy, Mark and Jennifer Biddy, Eric and Courtney Gardner, Katy and Josh Adams, Kristy and Paul Buchanan, Jacob and Stephanie Gardner, Joseph and Brittani Gardner, along with 27 great-grandchildren. He has one brother-in-law, Gene and Genie Finch, and two nephews: Jimmy and Linda Meador, and Dan Meador.

Special thanks goes to friends at Nassau Bay Baptist Church, their retirement church home for a number of years, especially the Pathways Department; Old River Baptist Church, their final retirement church home where he and Nelda served as greeters; and to friends from Hardin Baptist Church, his last interim pastorate.

And a word of appreciation belongs to the many wonderful caregivers Dan and Nelda had in their home, then at Waterford Senior Living in Baytown, and finally at Harbor Hospice House in Beaumont, along with numerous church friends who visited faithfully, especially those of Old River Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, charities that were dear to Papa Dan’s heart were East Texas Baptist University, Dan & Nelda Gardner Scholarship Fund, 1 Tiger Dr., Marshall, TX 75670; Old River Baptist Church, Children’s Building Indebtedness, 12948 FM 1409, Dayton, TX 77535; and SBC International Mission Board, 3806 Monument Ave., Richmond VA 23230.

“Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4


  • Visitation Saturday, November 23, 2019
  • Celebration of Life Saturday, November 23, 2019
  • Graveside Service Saturday, November 23, 2019


Dan Frank Gardner

have a memory or condolence to add?

Johnnie Melton

November 23, 2019

We pray for your hearts to be comforted during this sad time.
May God hold you close, and give you the strength that is needed to get through the days ahead.

Dan & Johnnie Melton

Martha Eilers

November 22, 2019

Frank - so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. Sounds like he was a strong man who loved his God. May he Rest In Peace.

Fran Campbell

November 21, 2019

What a pleasure to have known Mr. Gardner. He was bold for Christ and shared his love gently. He is now with his Savior and his precious wife. He was a true example of the definition of a Christian. What a man!!!