Johnny E. Gardner Sr., 87, longtime Ochelata resident, died Friday evening in Dewey.
Johnny was born on December 17, 1925, in Ochelata, OK, the son of Pearl and Margaret (Hackett) Gardner. He was raised and educated in Ochelata, graduating from Ochelata High School. Johnny served in the Navy on the USS Birmingham in the South Pacific during WWII
; Johnny and his four brothers were all serving at the same time.
Johnny was united in marriage with Mary Katherine Nelson on January 25, 1948. He worked for the Smelters making casings and at Reda Pump in the foundry before moving the family to Los Angeles in 1951. In California he worked at the Adohr Dairy before returning to Ochelata in 1958. Johnny worked in the oil fields with his brother before going to work with Cities Service Oil Co in 1961 and he retired in 1981 as building facilities manager. Johnny was a former Mayor of Ochelata.
From a young age Johnny was fascinated with trains, particularly with steam locomotives. While he was still in school, he would travel by train to California and work during the summer and travel back just in time for school to start. He was unafraid of adventure and the unknown, and he loved fishing, particularly deep sea fishing, almost as much as he loved his family.
Johnny is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary; sons Denny Rhett and his wife Delma of Ramona, and Johnny Gardner Jr. and his wife Jan of Bartlesville; three grandchildren, Carla Gardner of Tulsa, Dustin Gardner of Bartlesville, and Shelly Czaja of Bartlesville; and eight great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, eight brothers and three sisters.
The family will receive friends at the Davis Family Funeral Home, (918-534-3030), 113 S. Osage (Hwy. 75), Dewey, on Monday, June 17, from 6-8 p.m. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.DavisFamilyFuneralHome.com
Funeral services for Mr. Gardner will be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at 10 a.m. in the Chapel of the Davis Family Funeral Home. Chaplin Roger Sheppard will officiate. Interment will follow in the Ochelata Cemetery. Full military honors will be accorded by the Ramona American Legion Post 334. Arrangements are under the direction of the Davis Family Funeral Home.