Clarence "Butch" Edward Gardner III

July 2, 1946December 1, 2012
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Clarence E. Gardner (Butch)

Butch was born in 1946 in Harrisburg Pa. but grew up in Rialto, Ca. He attended San Bernardino Valley College and the University of Ca. at Pomona.

Following his move to Sacramento he married Sharon, his wife of 45 years. They had a son Edward in 1968. Butch is also survived by his brother-in-law William Hurley.

Butch retired after 32 years at McClellan AFB as Instrument and Electro Optics Night Vision Repair Division Chief. During that time he received multiple Manager of the year and Civilian All Star Awards as well as the USAF Civilian Meritorious Service Award. He was also a Certified Industrial Engineer. After retirement he served as a consultant for GEC Marconi Electronics, Army Missile Command and the County of Sacramento.

Other than family, the love of his life centered around the classic/hot rod car hobby. Since his first car, a 56 Ford Ranch Wagon, at age 17 – he was hooked. He started his own business, Artesia Street Rod Promotions, and was active in facilitation automotive events. He owned and promoted his own car show in Placerville for 15 years. He has been building and showing hot rods and customs since 1963 with four being featured in national magazines. Butch was the host of the Hot August Nights “Cruise of Champions” for many years. More recently was the Swap Meet Manager under the ownership of Bob and Vivian Davies.

He began a long association with the Sacramento Autorama when he started showing his cars in 1973 and went on to become a professional show judge. In 1999 he became Show Director and Floor Manager for the Autorama and the Grand National Roadster Show under Dan Cyr Ent. He was proud to become a member of the Autorama Legends Society and served as Society Chairmen hosting the event for several years. He was very happy to return to the Autorama in 2012 as the venue manager for the “Clubhouse” under John Buck Ent. He was really looking forward to participating in 2013. Butch was extremely proud to be a Life Member in the Capitol Auto Club Thunderbolts. He joined the club in 1974 and it has been like a second family ever since. He was President seven times and earned several awards. He was very happy when his son joined in 2005.

He was currently on the Board of Directors for the Assoc. of Ca, Car Clubs, working to protect the car hobby through open communication with our elected officials. He was looking forward to several events in the coming year. Butch has been the host of the “Cruisin Garage” radio show on AM 950 KAHI since 2001. He also keeps busy as a Specialty Vehicle Appraiser. Over the years he has been an automotive columnist for the Sacto Bee and the Placerville Mountain Democrat.

It has been said that there is a large hot rod club in the sky.

Well, they just got a strong member. Krooze Safe.

A funeral service will be held on Monday December 10, 2012 at 2pm at Mount Vernon Memorial Park 8201 Greenback Lane Fair Oaks, Ca 95628


  • Funeral Service Monday, December 10, 2012

Clarence "Butch" Edward Gardner III

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May 21, 2013

I am so sorry to hear that Butch has passed, was a complete surprise when I was told, so sorry Sharon Butch was my friend, I feel a great loss..
Sincerely Craig Conlee

January 1, 2013

Sharon and Ed, Ron & I just learned yesterday of Butch's passing. There are no words to express the sadness we feel. As so many have already said, Butch was just larger than life. He was such a wonderful, kind and generous friend. He never failed to make us all laugh and feel better. No matter where we went Butch always knew so many people who knew him and were happy to see him. He was amazing.
He will be loved and missed by us and so many others whose lifes he touched.
We are so very sorry for your devastating lose.
We send love to you and Eddie,
Ron and Evelyn Braly & family
Stilwell, OK

John & Denise Wilson

December 28, 2012

Butch!From the time I met you at McClellan until the time I left, you always managed to "shock" me. This shock everyone could have done without.
So sorry to hear about Butch. We would have attended the service but we were out of town. Our thoughts are with the family. We still can't believe this.

Dave Maudsley

December 14, 2012

I was saddened to hear of Butch's passing; worked with him for many years, I have many wonderful memories of Butch. Fun guy, he will be missed, God Bless and comfort you Sharon in your time of sorrow.

Carmine DeCicco

December 14, 2012

Sharon I am so sorry about your loss. I often enjoyed listening to Butch on KAHI. He had many accomplishments in his life. Take care of youself and family.
Carmine DeCicco (Auburn CA.)

December 13, 2012

I first met Butch when he was working with Dan Cyr GNRS and Sac Autorama.
One of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet.
He helped me get set up in just the "right" spots at these events.
A true gear head always has his hands under the hood...Butch was one of us and he will be missed...
Jeff Sutton
Jokers Bay Area

Raymond & Charlotte Smith "SMITTY"

December 13, 2012

Sharon & Ed Thank you for letting me speak and to entertain his guests.
Butch brought out the best in me and I'm happy to know that he had faith and confidence in me to let me assist him on various events and encourage me to take over when he did not want to do it anymore. I valued his friendship and I'm know he valued mine. We will miss him deeply. I often said when I grow up I want to be like Butch, little did I know he already knew it.
Aloha Oui My Friend

December 12, 2012

My heart aches....I looked at the photos and could see Uncle Pud in his smile. RIP my dear cousin.
Marion and Barry Bobb

Don McKaughan

December 10, 2012

I am very sorry to hear that Butch has passed. He will be greatly missed by not only his family but his friends.

mike zenft

December 10, 2012

High school and hot rod buds