John "Jack" Gardner

November 8, 1945February 21, 2018
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John “Jack” Gardner passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, after a long battle with cancer, surrounded by his loved ones. He was 72.

Jack was born in Donora, PA, and graduated from Monongahela Valley Catholic with the Class of 1963. He received degrees from St. Vincent College, Pittsburg State University and Penn State University, before moving with his family to Oneonta to take a teaching position at SUNY Oneonta in the Speech and Communications department.

Jack was a gifted teacher, a passionate golfer, and a respected umpire. He was a loyal friend, and a beloved husband, father and son.

Those who knew him will miss his colorful stories, curmudgeonly wit and the integrity with which he lived his life.

Jack is survived by his wife, Michelle Gardner of Oneonta; his daughter and son in law, Gretchen Gardner & Jason Brown of Pittsburgh, PA; his son and daughter in law, John & Nicole Gardner of Brooklyn; and his son, Nicholas Gardner, of Cambridge, MA; grandchildren, Ryan Gardner Gabos of Brooklyn, and Willa Salome Gardner of Brooklyn; a brother, Delbert Gardner of Orlando, FL; and his dachshund, Sophie Bean.

He was predeceased by his mother and father, Delbert and Lillian Gardner.

Friends are invited to greet the family on Friday, February 23, 2018 from 5 to 7 pm at the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, 14 Grand Street, Oneonta.

A funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church, 39 Walnut St, Oneonta with Rev. David Mickiewicz, pastor, officiating. Interment will be in the spring at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Emmons.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, Oneonta, NY 13820.

Condolences to the family may be made online by visiting our website at

Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.


  • Calling Hours Friday, February 23, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Saturday, February 24, 2018

John "Jack" Gardner

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Michael Reed Kean

February 26, 2018

absolutely one of the most impressionable personalities on the planet...I feel honored to have met this man and shared some moments with his beautiful family. I know he will be greatly missed because he was greatly loved ...He laughed loud and true. He made me feel like I was a part of his family and I will always feel like one of his cherished sons...much love Snake-

Bret Romano

February 23, 2018

I consider myself lucky to have shared the ballfield with Jack on a number of occasions. I've taken great lessons on umpiring and on life from a man whom I have utmost respect. My deepest sympathies to the entire family and all of his friends.

February 23, 2018

Dear Michelle and family:

Ginny, Michael and I are saddened by this news, but gladdened by having known Jack. Please know you are in our thoughts and accept our deepest sympathies.. Richard and Ginny Lee, Oneonta

Jim and Linda Dallara

February 23, 2018

Dear Michelle and all the Family, Our sincere condolences on your loss. May the good memories bring you Peace. With our prayers, Linda and Jim Dallara and family

Katie Ritter

February 23, 2018

He will never be forgotten and always be missed. Deepest sympathies for the whole family. It was a pleasure to get to know him and Michelle over the last year or so.

Francisco Schapira

February 23, 2018

Michelle, my deepest sympathy to you and the rest of the family.
Loosing a best friend , a mentor and golf buddy is very difficult but the times we shared and the wonderful memories he left behind will always mean the world to me. I will miss you Jack ( El Guapo).

Charlotte Jericho

February 22, 2018

I am so very sorry. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

Bob Stefko

February 22, 2018

I am saddened to hear of Jack's passing. To Michelle and all of the family, my heart goes out to you. A part of Jack will remain with me all of my days. God bless you.

John Carosella

February 22, 2018


Snake was a great man. For those of us who believe in afterlife, he still IS a great man. I first met him in 1969 when that small group of us gathered to begin the Saint Vincent Summer Theatre. He scared the hell out of me. He appeared to be so rough and tough and macho to the enth degree--the total opposite of me. And yet, we hit it off. He not only tolerated me; he respected me as I did him. There are many memories to share, but my favorite is the one when he and I went "out on a toot" to the 19th hole to celebrate his acceptance into Grad School. What a night we had! He was grateful that a grad school was able to look beyond what he considered to be mediocre grades and see the brilliant man beneath...and we celebrated his gratitude. Just the two of us and a barfull of reprobates! It was a glorious night. His passing comes as something of a shock to me. I didn't know he was ill. I didn't think Snake could ever be anything less than magnificently healthy. To be truthful, I sort of idolized the man. He was strong, capable, outspoken, literate, and loving. On the outside, as gruff as they come; on the inside, a teddy bear. And so now he has passed. To bid him farewell, I offer a quote that I recall he was fond of using...from Vonnegut: "So it goes and so it will always go, I suppose." I shall miss him, but he will live forever in my memory. Michelle, to you and your entire family, my sincere sympathy.

Lori Kruczek

February 22, 2018

My deepest condolences to Michelle, Gretchen, John, and Nicholas. I have such fond memories of Jackie from the Donora and St. Vincent days. May your memories keep his spirit alive in your hearts. May he rest in the eternal arms of the Lord and rejoice with his loved ones in heaven.