The Reverend Dr. Richard J. Gardner, age 83, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 with his family by his side. A service of Worship to God and Thanksgiving for Dr. Gardner’s life will be Friday, December 20, 2019 at 2:00 PM at Spring Branch Baptist Church by his pastor, Rev. Buddy Amerson and Dr. Wayne Williams with burial to follow in the McBee Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Thursday, December 19, 2019 at Miller-Rivers-Caulder Funeral Home and other times at the home.
Dr. Gardner was born November 8, 1936 in Hartsville, SC the son of the late Richard Jefferson and Catherine Lucas Gardner. A 1954 graduate of Bishopville High School, he went on to attain his Business Degree from Coker College and his Doctorate of Theology from International Theological Seminary. Dr. Gardner served in the South Carolina Army National Guard for 14 years achieving the rank of Captain, and was a faithful member of Spring Branch Baptist Church.
In 1963, Dr. Gardner gave his heart to the Lord in salvation, and the following year surrendered to the call of God on his life to preach the gospel. He pastored many local churches in his early ministry before being led of God into full-time missions. In 1980, Dr. Gardner and his family accepted the call to serve as missionaries to the Commonwealth of Virginia. He faithfully served in that capacity until returning to Chesterfield County, SC in 1990 to accept the position of Executive Director of the Good Samaritan Colony in Ruby, SC where he would serve until his retirement in 2015.
A man of faith and family, Dr. Gardner enjoyed serving the Lord alongside his family. He was blessed to have the distinct honor of baptizing each of his children and grandchildren, and officiating each of his children’s wedding ceremonies. He was affectionately known to his family as “Daddy G” and will always be remembered for his love of helping others and his quick wit and humorous personality.
A true outdoorsman, Dr. Gardner also enjoyed farming, gardening, and raising animals. He was an avid Clemson Tigers fan and enjoyed traveling with his family.
In addition to his parents, Dr. Gardner was also preceded in death by a sister, Cappie Baskin; and brothers-in-law, Emsley Baskin and Gerald Stover.
Survivors include his beloved wife of 54 years, Marie Gardner of the home; children, Cathy (Rev. Mark) Phillips, Michelle (Mitchell) Raynor both of Ruby, SC, Richard (Tammy) Gardner, Jr. of Lancaster, SC, and Tricia (Wendell) Parnell of Hartsville, SC; grandchildren, Kyle (Katherine) Phillips, Grace (Jayson) Steven, Anna Marie Raynor, Meghan Raynor, Jackson Raynor, James Gardner, and Emily Gardner; sister, Linda Stover of Columbia, SC; and nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff of Regency SouthernCare Hospice of Chesterfield for their ministry, love, and support to Dr. Gardner and their family.
Memorials may be made to Spring Branch Baptist Church, 5106 Middendorf Road, Hartsville, SC 29550 or to the Good Samaritan Colony, P.O. Box 38, Ruby, SC, 29741.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Miller-Rivers-Caulder Funeral Home (www.mrcfuneralhome.com) of Chesterfield, SC is serving the Gardner family.
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