October 17, 1936 – June 24, 2020
Donald Stuart Gardiner, 84, died Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at home in Holden Beach following a brief illness.
A long time teacher and coach in Arlington County schools in Virginia, Donald retired to Brunswick County in 1991 to pursue his love of golf and the beach. He was born in 1936 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland to Asa Gardiner and Jane Stone Gardiner. Along with his parents, he is predeceased by his sisters Bertha Diehl and Dorothy Herber, and longtime companion Linda Bell in 2017.
He is survived by brothers, Asa Gardiner, Tom Lochte and David Lochte; sisters, Janie Lochte, Darlene Lochte, Julie Cox and their spouses; as well as his daughter Suzanne G. Beardan of Atlanta, Ga.; grandchildren William and Sadie; his special college companion Kermene Yon with whom he spent his recent years; and many nieces and nephews.
Overcoming a challenging childhood, he excelled in athletics in high school and received a football scholarship to Appalachian State where he continued to overachieve and remains in App State record books today for his outstanding play. Upon graduation in 1962, he returned to Arlington County, Va. to teach and coach returning to App State in 1965 to obtain his Master’s degree in Physical Education. He became a certified referee for high school and NCAA football games and was widely respected for his expert knowledge of all rules and regulations and his decorum. His retirement years in Holden Beach was spent largely on golf courses throughout Brunswick County either playing or being a ranger. He was a longtime member of Camp UMC of Shallotte.
Due to the effects of COVID-19 virus, a memorial service will be held at a later date.
A special thank you to the many caregivers for their love, compassion and help this past year for Donald, especially his excellent neighbor and friend Joe Harrington and the help of Jodi Owens these past few weeks.
Contributions to Donald’s memory may be made to Liberty Hospice, P. O. Box 200, Supply, N.C., 28462, or Appalachian State Athletic Fund in Boone, N. C.
You may offer online condolences at www.shallottefunerals.com
White Funeral and Cremation Service, Shallotte.
Due to current health concerns, a memorial service will be planned and announced at a later date.
July 2, 2020
My husband, Tom Perkins, and Don were good friends and fellow football players. Tom passed away 3 years ago this month and I'm sure tales are being told about those special times on the football field and other times as Wakefield High School's first graduating class. Rest in peace, Don.
Sarah Delk Perkins
July 1, 2020
Good bye old friend, I did my best for you blocking so you could make the yardage and touchdowns. Great friend at Wakefield and I will sorely miss you. Not many of us left from Dolly Madison Junior High School and Wakefield High School, class of 1956.
June 25, 2020
Many hearts are broken since you got your wings but I have no doubt you were welcomed with loving arms. I will never forget when you made Louie jump off the high dive into the dive tank. I thought she was going to drown for sure but you coached her safely to the side of the pool. You were a huge part of our childhood days and we were blessed to have you as an Uncle. My children still remember you imitating Donald Duck. Your memories will live on thru each of us. Rest In Peace, Uncle Donnie. ❤️