Remembering Theodore Gardnerby Senator Rob Portman
Posted on 2013-01-24
PORTMAN. Mr. President, today I wish to honor the life of
Theodore ``Ted'' Harbison Gardner. He was a devoted husband, father, a
proud veteran of the U.S. Navy and a consummate
community volunteer whose contributions will have long lasting impacts
in the Greater Cincinnati community, and beyond.
Born and raised in Hillsboro, OR, Mr. Gardner was the only child of Vesey Gardner, a prominent community leader and a lumber company owner, and Ruth Gardner, a popular singer. He is a graduate of Oregon State University.
A proud and decorated veteran of World War II, Mr. Gardner withdrew from college to serve in the U.S. Navy the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He survived one of the largest and most brutal battles in history--The Battle off Samar--earning his unit aboard the USS Kalinin Bay the Presidential Unit Citation, one of the Navy's highest honors.
Ted was an active member of the U.S. Navy League, The Hornet Foundation, and was a member of the advisory board of the Warbird Museum. He was passionate about the importance of oral history and personally interviewed over 150 World War II veterans and recorded and videotaped their stories for the Cincinnati Public Library and for the U.S. Library of Congress.
Following his graduation from Oregon State University, Mr. Gardner got a job with a lumber distributor in Columbus, OH and then later moved to Cincinnati, where he and his wife, Naomi, raised their three children. Mr. Gardner changed careers in the 1970s and worked as a local art dealer until he retired.
Ted was a 30-year member of the Cincinnati Rotary Club, where he was involved in programs to welcome international students studying at area universities and where he participated in events benefiting children with disabilities and youth in government.
A talented musician, Mr. Gardner shared his vocal talents as a member of the Rotary chorus, the choir of the Church of the Redeemer and the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus, where he served as a board member. For 25 years, he sang all four verses of ``Taps'' in his rich bass voice on Veterans Day at the public library.
Ted was an historian, a lover of art and literature, a musician and an avid sports enthusiast. He is greatly missed, and his extraordinary legacy and giving spirit will not be forgotten.