SHELBY-Mr. Junius "Candyman" Taswell Gardner, 79, of Beaumonde Avenue, died Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, at Kings Mountain Hospice House. A native of Cleveland County, he was the son of the late Lewis and Maude Wilkins Gardner. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War Conflict, was a member of Norman's Grove Baptist Church, and retired from Fiber Industries and Baxter Corp. Affectionately known as the "Candyman", he spread joy through candy and through love. He made us all feel like we are kids in a candy store, showering us with a variety of sweet and thoughtful treats. Whether you knew him for years or just met him in a corridor of the hospital or nursing home, it felt like you knew him forever. Without speaking many words, his generous sweet gesture of passing out sweets said it all; he let you know you had a friend. He was someone who cared enough to brighten your day each and every time you saw him. If his stash was running low, perhaps due to the many folks he made happy that day, he would try to re-stock and drop in for another visit to be sure that no one was forgotten. Candyman didn't just fill us up with sweet confections, he filled us up with generosity, happiness and love. He will be so genuinely missed, but so tenderly remembered every time we think of him for the instant smile he brings to our faces and the sweet imprint he leaves upon our hearts.
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In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Frances Davis Gardner; brother, Lewis Williams Gardner Jr.; and sister, Mary Wilkins Gardner Moore.
He is survived by his two nephews, Franklin Gardner and wife Becky of Shelby, William Moore and wife Gwen of Bostic; niece, Gay Moore of Gastonia; great nephew, Andy Gardner; great niece, Emily VanBuren, both of Shelby; special friend, Laverne Crosby of Shelby; sister-in-laws, Corene Brackett of Cherryville, Madelyn Walters of Clover; and many extended nieces and nephews.
Visitation: The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Clay-Barnette Funeral Home.
Funeral Service: 2 p.m. Sunday at Clay-Barnette Funeral Home Chapel
Officiated By: The Rev. Keith Huss and the Rev. Cecil Buff
Burial: Sunset Cemetery, with military honors
Funeral Home: Clay-Barnette Funeral Home of Shelby is serving the family
Memorials: May be made to the Cleveland Healthcare Foundation, 201 E. Grover St., Shelby, N.C. 28150; Hospice of Cleveland County, 951 Wendover Heights Dr., Shelby, N.C. 28150; or Norman's Grove Baptist Church, 206 Carpenter's Grove Church Rd., Lawndale, N.C. 28090
Online Condolences: www.claybarnette.com
Published in Shelby Star on Dec. 8, 2012