Charles W. Gardner

October 25, 1944November 20, 2021

On Saturday, November 20th, Charles William Gardner passed away. He was born in Chanute, Kansas, the only child of Charles Hanes and Billie Maxine Gardner. He grew up in the Northern Illinois town of Zion where he attended Zion Benton Township High School. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Carthage College in Kenosha, WI, Master’s degree from the College of Racine, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies from the National College of Education in Evanston, IL.

Charlie, spent an entire career in education, starting out as a teacher in 1968 at East Elementary in Zion, IL. He married Vincene who was a teacher in the same school district. Charlie rose through the ranks ultimately serving as Principal at Beulah Park Elementary in Zion, Irving Elementary in Berwyn, IL, and Wayne Thomas Elementary in Highland Park, IL. Mr. Gardner was loved and respected by students, parents, faculty and staff alike. When he wasn’t in the classroom, he dabbled in real estate and was heavily involved in the Methodist Church, teaching Sunday school and serving on many committees.

In 2000, Charlie and Vincene retired to Trinity, TX, building a house on a bluff overlooking Lake Livingston. Charlie was a valued member in the Methodist church where he was a regular in the choir and would often pull a double, singing at the Presbyterian church as well if they were down a man. Recently, Charlie moved from Trinity into Houston and enjoyed more time with family and making new friends. Those who knew him well will recall his work ethic, love of writing notes and letters, reading books, and joking about all manner of things.

Charlie is survived by his two daughters; Kristine (Mark) Madorsky of Houston, TX, and Shelley Gardner of Arlington, VA. He is also survived by his two grandsons, Jacob and Nicholas Madorsky of Houston, TX. He is predeceased by his wife Vincene John Gardner.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation in honor of Charlie's dedication to education and his love of reading. (

A private memorial service for the family will be held at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston, TX, at a time to be determined.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the GARDNER family.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Charles W. Gardner

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Cindy Mackay

December 2, 2021

To all the family of my cousin Charlie (better known to me and the rest of his first cousins from Kansas and Michigan, as "C.W."):

When Charlie called, his voice stirred all the happy memories of being kids together at our grandparents' home and reunions and shared visits. He was the cousin from far away (Illinois!) and it was always a treat when Uncle Charles and Aunt Billie were coming and that meant C.W. would be there too! Everybody loved him. He had that kind of humor that made us lighter. He made Grandma May Gardner laugh out loud, and that didn't happen often. It just felt good to be around him, all of his life.

C.W., you gifted us with your presence. Thank you!

We miss you, and always will.

Cindy and John Mackay

Laura Kushner

November 23, 2021

I worked for Charlie, first at Irving School back in the late 1980's, the I followed him to Highland Park and worked for him at Wayne Thomas School as well. He was a mentor to me and a wonderful person. He had a wonderful sense of humor and never took anything too seriously.

Charlie gave me wonderful feedback as a teacher and 'administrivia' as he called it. I followed in his foot steps and after 17 years in teaching, I became a principal for the second half of my career. I was always grateful for all that Charlie did for me.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Godspeed.

Laura Kushner

Jordan Madorsky

November 23, 2021

I am so sorry to hear of Charlie's passing. He was a good man. I always looked forward to the opportunities I had to spend time with him, over the years.

Rest in Peace.

Mary Keith

November 23, 2021

Charlie came to our little Presbyterian church (along with other Methodist friends) years ago to help our fledging choir. And, oh what a help he was! Though I sing tenor/bass, he could go higher than I, and I could go lower than he. It always made us laugh.
He supported us in every way he could, always encouraging, and grateful for all our efforts. He joined us for fellowship and coffee after worship, before going to his home church. Great friendships developed. He loved us, we loved him, and we all miss him. What a legacy you leave, Charlie!

Walter Willmann

November 23, 2021

Charlie, It was truly an honor to know you. Rest in peace

Clara Wartemann

November 23, 2021

Charlie, you were such a giving man, you made all around you feel special. I treasure our friendship, enjoyed our times together in choir. I thank God that He allowed me to know you. Now rest in Heaven with your dear wife and Carl.

Daina Baker

November 22, 2021

Sang in the Choir with Charlie for years. When I took over as Choir Director, he supported me 100% even though he knew more about music than I do. Such a Gentleman, great sense of humor and when he loved you he really showed it. Bet the heavenly choir was glad to welcome you. You will live forever in my memories.

Pete Paske

November 22, 2021

I was in the choir for years with Charlie. When I would sing too high he would give me a thumb down. When I would sing too low he would give me a thumb up. He was the greatest man I know and always had the best sense of humor. I know he's helping someone in heavens choir. Rest in peace, Dot and I will always miss you.

John Goodwin

November 22, 2021

Charlie, one of the first people I was introduced to at First UMC. And definitely one of the best. I don’t know why but this Sunday, I looked behind me to where you sat in the choir. We rejoice at your new home. But man are we going to miss you!

Rita Piper

November 22, 2021

Charlie would call to tell me how wonderful our get togethers were. And I needed to do it again. Our last gathering was a hot dog supper and they had to roast weiners. Of course, he was late to his own party.

And Charlie, you still owe me my meal. Rest my friend. Your work is done