James Earl Gardner, 76, passed away Sunday, May 20, 2018, at his residence, in Sandusky, OH.
He was born August 17, 1941, at Magruder Hospital in Port Clinton, OH, to Audrey Mae (Steffens) and Earl Milton Gardner.
Jim was a 1959 graduate of Port Clinton High School. In 1963 he obtained a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College and in 1976 he graduated from Bowling Green State University earning a Master of Music.
Jim spent 35 years as first choir director and then band director with the Huron City Schools. He also spent many summers working in the Games office at Cedar Point. He was currently the Organist and Director of Choirs at Grace Lutheran Church in Fremont, Ohio and the Organist for the Oheb Shalom Temple in Sandusky. Throughout his career he also served as Organist at St. James Episcopal Church in Bucyrus, Calvary Church in Sandusky and St. Thomas Church in Port Clinton. He accompanied the Sandusky Choral Society for many years and also was a former conductor for the BGSU Huron Playhouse. He was a member of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Association. When Jim wasn’t playing the Organ he attended Christ Episcopal Church in Oberlin.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Jean (Wassner) Gardner, children Ann Marnix (Joe), Christopher Gardner (Christina), grandchildren Ashley Lawrence, Grant Gardner, and Grace Gardner, sister Jane Behrman (Denny), brother Gary Gardner (Mary) and many feline friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents Earl and Audrey (Steffens) Gardner, and a son in infancy Jeffery.
Memorial services for Jim will be held at 10:30 am, Sat., Sept. 15, 2018, in Grace Lutheran Church, Fremont, OH. The Rev. Dr. Brian K. Wilbert and Pastor Jodi Rice will officiate.
Anyone who would like to be part of the choir for this service are asked to be at the church by 9:15 am Sat. morning for a brief practice.
Memorials may be made to the Organ Fund of Grace Lutheran Church, Fremont, or to the Organ Dept. of Oberlin College.
Ransom Funeral & Cremation Service, Castalia, is in charge of the arrangements.
Online condolences and gifts of sympathy may be shared with the family by visiting www.ransomfuneralhome.com