Fred Howard Gardner

August 5, 1924March 25, 2021

Fred Howard Gardner, Jr., devoted husband, father, grandpa, great-grandpa, uncle and friend, passed away peacefully on March 25, 2021. He lived a good, long life for 96 years! He was born in Saratoga, CA on August 5, 1924 to Fred H. Gardner, Sr., and Mabel A. Dengler Gardner.

He was predeceased by his parents, his two sisters, Myrtle Gardner Cox and Frances Gardner Paulson, his grandson Mike Gardner (Jaclyn), and his beloved wife, Marilyn Bartholomew Gardner, in 2017. Marilyn was the love of his life for 67 years. They were married at Stone Church Willow Glen where they remained active and met many of their life-long friends. They enjoyed membership in the Merry Weds Dance Club and ONOs for over 50 years. They were lifetime members of the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County.

Fred attended Herbert Hoover Jr. High and San Jose High School. Fred served in the U.S. Army from 1943-1946. He worked at Bank of America from 1947-1984. Fred and Marilyn loved to travel and treasured their many wonderful memories and had many photo albums to prove it! Fred was a local historian and was a docent for San Jose Historical Museum. As a docent in the 1970’s and 80’s, Fred conducted five different downtown San Jose walking tours, trained new docents, and also volunteered at the Japanese Friendship Gardens. Fred also enjoyed being a member of Sons in Retirement (SIRS) and playing bocce ball with other SIRS members.

Fred is survived by his son Paul Gardner (Charmain), daughter Claudia Gardner Farris (Tom), grandchildren Greg Gardner (Laura), Melissa Farris Sheridan (Jeramey), Matthew Farris, and Justine Stimmel (Jon). Fred also adored his great grandchildren Rowan Gardner, Connor Murphy Sheridan, Camryn, Nathaniel and Jacob Stimmel, and his two nieces Audrey Cox Fiance and Jean Cox.

Fred said, “I had such a wonderful life that I think I’ll do it again!”

A private burial will be held.


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


Fred Howard Gardner

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Grace Cox

April 4, 2021

At this Easter time I remember all of the past Easter Sundays at Fred and Marilyn Gardner's home. Fred was the younger brother of my mother-in-law, Myrtle Gardner Cox, who was so excited that many of her children and grandchildren attended each Easter with her nephew and niece, Paul and Claudia. I remember all the yard work and crockpot beans that Marilyn did in preparation and the barbecued chicken by Fred and the bunny-shaped cakes that Claudia created. The family all gathered in their screened patio room and enjoyed each others company. All looked forward to the Easter egg hunt afterwards that was humongous because so many brought eggs to hunt. The children went around the block accompanied by adults while the eggs were hidden, including the golden egg filled with adult change. What a time it was! And the joy of Fred with all his extended family there!
I also have fond memories of Fred's great memory of all family dates by recording each with camera and writing up the details. I remember the stamps and coins he saved for family members who were collectors like him, along with the list of collections that each still needed. I remember the birthday cards he never forgot to send along with a dollar bill--so important for children with not so much money. I remember what importantance he gave to each family event by being in attendance. He was Best Man for my husband, Dave, and spoke at his funeral twice. I especially remember how much he loved his younger nephew, the deceased Alton Cox.