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1931 Bernard 2024

Bernard P. Gardner

April 6, 1931 — January 10, 2024



Bernard P. Gardner, age 92, resident of Leominster, MA, passed away peacefully, with his family by his side, on January 10, 2024. Bernie was born on April 6, 1931, in Seaford Town (known as German Town), Jamaica, B.W.I., to the late Percival and Angela (Bunnaman) Gardner.


Upon graduating from high school, he became employed on the passenger ship, the Queen Elizabeth I, and sailed numerous times between London, England, and Australia, and between London, England, and New York. After he disembarked in New York on his last trip, he made his home there and was subsequently drafted by the U.S. Army and served as a Track Vehicle mechanic. He was honorably discharged in 1955 as a Specialist 3rd Class.


He moved to Grafton, MA, and, with his brother, Bert, owned and operated Gardner Bros. Shell Service Station for several years. In 1957, Bernie met his wife Pat at the Lakeside Ballroom Dance Hall in Worcester, MA, where they began their storybook love story, for which they later became so well known. In 1958, Bernie married Pat and moved to Leominster, MA, and he took a job with Tucker Housewares (formerly Plastic Academy), where he was eventually promoted to Maintenance Supervisor and ultimately, Production Supervisor, until his retirement until 1992.


Bernie’s experience in the U.S. Army and in the automotive and plastic manufacturing industries gave him the expertise to be able to repair almost anything, from molding machines to vehicles of all kinds to small engines, and to make electrical and plumbing repairs as well. Over the course of his career, Bernie demonstrated a high degree of integrity and a strong work ethic which he passed on to all four of his children.


In addition to working hard to support his family, Bernie also was an enthusiastic gardener, a skilled billiards player, and an avid fisherman. He was a member of the Elks and Knights of Columbus as well. However, his favorite activity was dancing with his beautiful wife, who in her own rights, was an excellent dancer. In fact, despite neither of them ever having taken dance lessons, they were so good that people would stop to watch them wherever they danced and they held several “Dancing With The Grandparents” episodes of their own with their many grandchildren. Bernie and Pat also loved to travel, taking over 25 cruises to the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and Alaska, and traveled to numerous destinations in the United States and Canada, such as Hawaii and Niagara Falls.


Above all, Bernie’s greatest enjoyment came from his love of his family. Time after time, he would proudly tell his friends, co-workers, and extended family, how dearly he loved his family and would do absolutely anything for them. He also was the first to help a neighbor in need. Although mostly a quiet man, he lived life to the fullest, especially when he entertained his family and friends with numerous pig roasts.


He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Patricia (Tocci) Gardner, and his four children, Bernard F. Gardner and his wife, Robin (D’Onfro) Gardner, of Southwick, MA, Susan M. (Gardner) Wilson-Marro and her husband, Tony Marro, of Fitchburg, MA, Jeffrey R. Gardner and his significant other, Sandra Shannon-Gardner, of Leominster, MA, and Linda M. (Gardner) Flory and her husband, Brian Flory, of Fitchburg, MA. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, Benjamin Gardner, Daniel Gardner and his wife Meredith (Horton), Ashley (Wilson) Nicastro and her husband, Matt, Kyle Wilson and his wife, Krystal (Duval), Cheri Gardner and her life partner, Alina Raye, Nicholas Gardner, Ashley BurqueShannon, Katrina (Flory) Clancy and her husband, Kevin, Sarah (Flory) Schow and her husband, Jared. Additionally, Bernie is survived by nine great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his brother Kenneth and his wife Barbara of Willowdale, Ontario, Canada. In addition to his parents, Bernie was predeceased by four sisters and two brothers.


Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Bernie for a period of visitation on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, at Brandon Funeral Home, 305 Wanoosnoc Rd. Fitchburg, MA, from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm.

A funeral mass will be celebrated on Thursday, January 18, at St. Leo Parish, 108 Main St., Leominster, MA 01420, at 11:00 am. Burial to follow at St. Leo Cemetery, 360 Lancaster St, Leominster, MA 01453.

Kevin J. Mack, Walter C. Taylor, and Melissa A. McQuaid, Funeral Directors

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bernard P. Gardner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Thursday, January 18, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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