Don Gardiner

January 23, 1939April 7, 2018

Gardiner, Joseph Daniel (Don), O.C.

Businessman, community leader, husband, family man and founder of Gardiner Realty Limited and Gardiner Properties, Fredericton, N.B. J.D. (Don) Gardiner, Order of Canada, died peacefully at age 79 surrounded by his loving family on April 7, 2018, Halifax, N.S.

Proud Cape Bretoner, global ambassador for Fredericton, and, above all, devoted husband and beloved companion for 56 years of Alice (nee Johnson) of Glace Bay, N.S. Deeply loved father of Lynn Gardiner Rose (Joel ) of Woodstock, N.B. and Donna Gardiner Thompson (Lincoln) of Fredericton, N.B., proud and caring grandfather to Max, Amanda, Jamie, Ashley, Katrina and Benjamin, and great grandfather to Skylar. Predeceased by his sister Elizabeth (Bess) Gardiner and brother Mark Gardiner, former Chief of Police in Glace Bay, N.S.

Son of Joseph Gardiner and Josephine MacDonald, of Glace Bay, Don rose from humble beginnings in Table Head where he grew up to become one of the most successful independent businessmen in the real estate industry of the Maritimes.

Don was a true Maritime businessman fully committed to giving something back to the community. Seeing the ravages of lung disease first hand in Cape Breton, Don volunteered, over a 12-year period, with the Canadian Lung Association and served as national President in 1991-92. He also served on the Board of Director for the QEII Hospital for ten years. In 1989, Don established the Gardiner Medical Research Foundation to encourage excellence in research activities related to inflammatory arthritis and other autoimmune rheumatic diseases.

Being named to the Order of Canada by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson on July 18, 2000 was a tremendous highlight, and it coincided with the 30th anniversary year of Gardiner Realty. Eventually, Don was approached to serve on the Executive of the Canadian Snowbird Association and in 2007 was elected to serve as President, assuming the post at the January 2008 annual meeting in Lakeland, Florida.

Don took great pride, in later years, in the growth and resilience of the family firm, now known as the Gardiner Group of Companies. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Gardiner Group, which he was very much looking forward to celebrating. Operating out of five real estate offices, the firm also ran Gardiner Properties through which they own subdivisions, shopping centres (in Bible Hill, NS and Cornwall, PEI), warehouses, and land for future development. Don also operated a business consulting and investment division where he was behind a number of large deals in Halifax, NS.

With Alice at his side, Don achieved far more than remarkable business success. Over five decades, he managed to raise a family, head the Canadian branch of the International Real Estate Federation, chair the Canadian Lung Association’s anti-smoking campaign, and receive an Order of Canada and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for his charitable activities. After re-locating to Halifax in June 2004, he played an active role in the Halifax Club and the Capital Campaign for the new Halifax Central Library. He and Alice remained generous contributors to the Halifax Memorial Veteran’s Garden, QEII Hospital Foundation, and the Central Library. His most recent passion project was a $140 million privately-funded 20,000-seat stadium in HRM which would host a new Canadian Football League team.

Don Gardiner may have passed, but a wellspring of fond memories live on - of a true gentlemen, a businessman with a big heart and a winning smile, impeccably dressed and unfailingly polite in his dealings with everyone.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 14th at 10:30 AM at St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica located at 5221 Spring Garden Road, Halifax with a reception to follow. A funeral service will be held on May 12, 2018, 2:00 pm, located at St. Dunstan’s Catholic Church on 120 Regent St, Fredericton, NB . Reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Gardiner Medical Research Trust Fund, QEII Foundation, in honour of Don would be appreciated by the family.


  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, April 14, 2018


Don Gardiner

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jim Ross

May 15, 2018

We were shocked and very saddened to hear of Don's passing and wish to convey to his family our heartfelt condolences. We remember Don as a very creative person and leader who accomplished a great deal in life. It was hard not to be "won over" by his personality , smile and charm. We have lost a great man.

Jim & Karen Ross

Linda Hubbard

April 17, 2018

I was sorry to read about the death of your husband, Don. We may have met once or twice when my mother, Eileen Hubbard, worked for Gardiner Reality in the late 70's and 80's. I just wanted to let you know that she loved this job, working for Don and you; she was brave to start this career later in her life.

Sincere condolences,
Linda Hubbard

Janet Ingraham

April 16, 2018

Joel & Lynn Rose, Family, Extended Family

Brian and I send condolences in the loss of your dear father. Although I never had the privilege to meet him personally, I have read of his business developments, accomplishments, and awards in the newspaper, and what an impressive record showing determination, hard work, and selfless giving. Cherish all the good memories that will live on in your hearts forever, Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Brian and Janet

Winston & Florence Quigley

April 15, 2018

Donna...........Our very sincere condolences ... Your Dad always had a smile , a very kind word and always made you feel welcome. He was so accomplished and leaves behind memories that will last forever. He will be greatly missed by so many. May your heart be warmed by the fact that he touched so many many people and it truly was a honor and pleasure to have known him. Our love and hugs go out to you, your Mom and family .....may God be with you and bring your comfort ..xoxo

Thelma Innes

April 14, 2018

My condolences to Alice, Lynn and Donna and their families on your loss. Don will be fondly remembered for his friendly smile and his devotion to family, community and his profession as a Realtor and Developer. It was my pleasure to have worked with and learned from him as a rookie Realtor .

Brock Sharpe

April 14, 2018

Such a great man and friend. Don accepted Gail and I into the CSA family and it was my pleasure to work beside him on the Board of Directors. We shared a commonality in real estate development and worked hard to make CSA a better environment for the members. Don will be missed by all and he gave so much of his time and energy to many maritime ventures as listed.

Alice>>>We are so sorry for your loss. He will be missed for sure, and the strength of your family and many friends will help get you through this difficult time.

Much Love,
Brock and Gail

Joe Curry

April 14, 2018

My son Blaise JUST phoned me... shock and heartfelt condolences... thankful for our history and friendship. He and my Sandra are hopefully smiling down on us. Much love and prayers to ALL. May get to see you in Fredericton.

Glenda (Dodie) Budden

April 13, 2018

Alice & family,
For a Table Head boy, Don lived a successful life. Most inpressive is that he carried those values he learned growing up in Glace Bay throughout his life and left his mark in doing for others.
Cousin Dodie Budden (Gardiner)

Tom & Warren Weeks

April 13, 2018

We wish to express our sincere condolences for your loss. May your memories be a source of comfort at this difficult time.

Arnold and Judy Budovitch

April 13, 2018

Dear Alice, Lynn and Donna,

We were so sorry to learn of your great loss. We have fond memories of the years we were neighbors. Don was so very proud of all of you, and his delight and enthusiasm for all that you accomplished was one of the most endearing aspects of his personality. No husband or father could have been more supportive.

You have our sincere sympathy as you mourn his passing.
Arnold and Judy Budovitch