Tribute to Harvey-- A True American Hero, Forever Strong and Loved
Harvey Joseph Gardner III, 35, was truly wise for his age. An animated
energized man that excelled at living, he had an astute appreciation and
passion for life. "Harvey was adored and appreciated for his strength,
integrity, and wisdom--he was my big brother, my teacher, my friend," said
his youngest brother Anthony.
Harvey saw himself as a work-in-progress and always strove to be the best
person that he could be. Three years ago, he decided to go back to school
to become a certified computer technician. He realized an insatiable
interest in the field and began his job at the World Trade Center two years
ago. Harvey had a knack for making everyone comfortable and many of his
coworkers soon became part of his family.
In his spare time, Harvey could always be found running or riding his bike
at the beach in Spring Lake, NJ--he lived in Lakewood, NJ with his other
brother, Mark for the last four years. He enjoyed and participated in the
martial arts, loved to cook, loved his family and protected them throughout
his entire life, was an American patriot, a student of history, and a
collector of memories. He will forever be remembered for the sensitive,
strong, beautiful man that he was.
His family is FOREVER PROUD.
Tribute submitted by Anthony Gardner.
Built From Scratch
For his career, Harvey Gardner chose the computer lab over the kitchen, but both places fostered his creativity. He was a tinkerer, someone who built computers from stray parts and, evidently, built dinners the same way. Mr. Gardner, 35, did all the cooking for himself and his younger brother Mark, with whom he lived in Spring Lake, N.J. But the recipes were gleaned from the air.
"They were all his own concoctions," said another brother, Anthony, who is the founder of the WTC United Family Group (www.wtcunitedfamilygroup.org), an information network for families of the victims of Sept. 11. "It was crazy stuff. But it was good."
A practitioner of martial arts and a devotee of the History Channel, Mr. Gardner was a computer consultant for General Telecom on the 83rd floor of 1 World Trade Center.
"Mark managed to get through to him at the trade center that morning," Anthony Gardner said. "And Mark heard him comforting others, telling them it was O.K. He was being his normal, level-headed self."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 12, 2001.
Harvey Gardner, 35, a role model
When a hijacked airplane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, Harvey Joseph Gardner called his brother Mark to let him know what was happening.
Mr. Gardner was reassuring the people who worked around him on the 93rd floor in the office of General Telecom.
"I can imagine what he did when the events unfolded," another brother, Anthony, said. "I'm sure he was helping people who couldn't get out."
To his family, Mr. Gardner was a hero and role model. "He knew what was important in life," Anthony Gardner said.
Born in Newark, Mr. Gardner lived in Belleville before moving to Lakewood four years ago.
After high school, Mr. Gardner couldn't decide whether to be a chef or computer technician. He chose the latter as a profession, and dabbled in the former as a hobby. He was 35.
"He loved to cook," said Anthony Gardner. "He used to make his concoctions, putting them over pasta. He was inventive in his cooking."
Mr. Gardner had been a car salesman. But about three years ago, got a job at General Telecom, where he was a supervisor.
At home, he practiced martial arts.
"He promoted a healthy lifestyle. He was very spiritual and liked to run on the beach," Anthony Gardner said.
Judith Torea, Mr. Gardner's mother, said her son always wanted to help his country. She said she saw his death as just that.
"He was trying to calm other people down. That's the kind of person he was. He had a very kind heart."
In Mr. Gardner's honor, his family and friends created a Web site for victims' families: www.wtcunitedfamilygroup.org.
Mr. Gardner also is survived by his father, Harvey J. Gardner II; stepfather, Manuel Torea, and a half-brother, Joseph.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Raphael's Church, Livingston.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Gardner's name to the Make a Wish Foundation of New Jersey, 1034 Salem Road, Union, N.J. 07083.
Profile by Reginald Roberts published in THE STAR-LEDGER.