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Rhinebeck - Maurice Charles Gardner, 95, passed away on November 15, 2013 at the Baptist Home in Rhinebeck. Born in Colesville, Broome County, NY on October 10, 1918, he was the son of the late Charles Oren and Helen Page Gardner. On March 30, 1947, Maurice married Virginia S. Bunting at Hedding Methodist Church in Poughkeepsie. Mrs. Gardner predeceased her husband on December 6, 2003.
Maurice worked for A.C. Dutton Lumberyard for several years and from there went to Vassar College, where he was Head Chef until his retirement in 1984. He also worked evenings as the Manager of the Concession Stand at the Hyde Park Drive-In Theater for over 20 years, as well as helping out at Teixeira's Service Station in Hyde Park on Saturdays. Even with his busy work schedule, he always took time on Sunday afternoons to spend with his family.
Maurice was a Pack Leader for the Boy Scouts of America in Staatsburg, NY during the 1960's. His wife served with him as Den Mother. More recently, he was a member of the Hyde Park Lions Club and a cook for Hyde Park Meals on Wheels. He enjoyed serving the Hyde Park community.
Maurice proudly served his country in the US Army during World War II, enlisting on September 24, 1940. He was a Corporal with the Military Police in Casablanca where he assisted in transporting German POW's from there to Mississippi. He was honorably discharged on October 26, 1945.
Maurice is survived by his six children, daughter, Roberta Lofaro, and husband, Ralph, of Port St. Lucie, Fl.; daughter, Beverly Gardner of Rhinebeck; daughter-in-law, Francine Gardner of Hyde Park; daughter, Kathleen Gardner of Red Hook; son, Richard Gardner of Hyde Park; daughter, Eileen Conners, and husband, Lynn, of Corfu, NY; and daughter, Nancy Jurkowski, and husband, Al, of Lake Katrine.
He is also survived by his grandchildren, Samuel and wife, Johanna, Michael, Dominick and wife, Maria, and Joseph Lofaro; Maria Gardner, Damien, and Sonja Allen, Erica, Richie and wife, Jennifer, and Matthew Gardner; and Amanda, Shannon, Hannah, and Amelia Jurkowski; twelve great grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, a sister, Marion Palmateer, and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his wife of fifty-six years, Maurice was predeceased by his daughter, Judith A. Conners, his son, Charles M. Gardner, and three sisters, Anna Gilbo, Gladys Smith, and Margaret Myers.
Maurice loved his family and was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. He would do anything he could to help those in need and was loved and respected by many people. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
In keeping with his wishes, cremation has taken place.
Memorial calling hours will take place on Tuesday, November 19th from 2-4 and 7-9 pm at Sweet's Funeral Home, Rte. 9, Hyde Park. The Hyde Park Lion's Club will conduct services at 7:30 pm. A memorial service will take place during the calling hours at 8 pm, with his son-in-law, Rev. Al Jurkowski officiating.
Maurice's ashes, along with his wife, Virginia's, will be buried together on Wednesday, November 20th at 11am in the family plot at Union Cemetery of Hyde Park. There will be Military Honors for Mr. Gardner.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorial donations be made to Hyde Park Meals on Wheels, 1 Church St., Hyde Park, NY 12538.
To send his family a message of condolence, or for directions, please visit our website at www.sweetsfuneralhome.com.
Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal from Nov. 17 to Nov. 19, 2013
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