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Harvey S. Gardner

December 10, 1933 — December 14, 2023

North Little Rock

Harvey S. Gardner

Colonel Harvey S. Gardner Jr., USAF Retired, of North Little Rock, Arkansas passed away Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023, four days after celebrating his 90th birthday with family and friends.  He was born on Dec. 10, 1933, in Albany, New York, to Harvey S. Gardner and Kathleen Donnelly Gardner. They lived in Troy, New York where he graduated from Lansingburgh High School.  He graduated from the University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics and later obtained his MBA from Webster University.  After enlisting in the Air Force during the Korean War, he entered and completed flight training and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He had a diversified Air Force career, flying many different aircraft. He flew the B-57, B-47, B-52, B-58 and FB-111 bombers.  During his flying career he participated in the Vietnam air war and several other regional conflicts.  He also held several staff and management assignments while serving his time in the military.

He met his future wife, Angela Colette, while stationed at Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, Louisiana.  They were married on April 27, 1957.  She accompanied him through many assignments during his 23-year military career. Together they raised five children. His last military assignment was as a commander in the Titan Missile Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, Jacksonville, Arkansas. 

He retired from the Air Force in 1976 and settled in North Little Rock, Arkansas, where he started his construction company.  In 2001 he again elected to retire and begin a life of travel and leisure.  He and Angela summered at their mountain home in Ruidoso, New Mexico and spent their winters between Arkansas and Florida.  She was the love of his life and predeceased him in January 2010 after 53 years of marriage.

He was a devoted Catholic who loved the Lord and his family with all his heart. He set the bar high for himself and expected everyone else to do the same.  If you didn’t meet that expectation, he would let you know. If life threw a curve ball, his response was “Cowboys don’t cry”.  He was quick-witted, funny, opinionated, and outspoken.  He had a habit of leaving short, one liner voice mails that left recipients shaking their heads. He had very little growing up and felt blessed for the life he and Angela created.  He had a generous heart for those who were less fortunate than him.  He was a conversationalist who enjoyed the company of those who shared his passions.  If you played golf, you were an immediate friend. He celebrated life, lived large and communicated to all who knew him that the door was always open, and the bar fully stocked.

Harvey is survived by his daughter Colette Gardner (Vincent O’Halloran), Westport, CT, daughter Donnalee Nichols (Eddie), North Little Rock, AR, daughter Lilyan Tanner (Larry), Hensley, AR, son Harvey Gardner III (Sissy), North Little Rock, AR, son Anthony Gardner, North Little Rock, AR, 13 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and Carol Land, his companion who lovingly cared for him the last 13 years.

The family will host a visitation at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, North Little Rock, at 10:00 AM Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023, followed by a 10:30 AM rosary service and funeral mass officiated by Bishop Francis Malone.   A reception for family and friends will be held at Colonel Gardner’s home immediately following the funeral mass.

In the words of the Colonel himself, “Ciao” and “Vaya Con Dios.” 

The family requests memorials be made to Immaculate Conception Catholic School, North Little Rock, AR, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harvey S. Gardner, please visit our flower store.
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