Thomas Ross Gardner, age 74 of The Villages passed away May 18, 2015 under the care of Cornerstone Hospice The Villages. Graveside services at Florida National Cemetery will be held at 10:00 am Monday June 1, 2015. Thomas is survived by his wife June.Thomas Ross Gardner, age 74, of The Villages passed away May 18, 2015 under the care of Cornerstone Hospice, The Villages, Florida. Graveside services at Florida National Cemetery, 6502 S.W. 102nd Avenue, Bushnell, Florida, will be held at 10:00 am Monday June 1, 2015. A luncheon will follow at 12 noon at Bethany Lutheran Church, 1334 Griffin Road, Leesburg, Florida.
Thomas is survived by his wife June, his daughters Catherine Anne Zizwarek and Patricia Lynn Gardner, granddaughter Lauren Elizabeth Zizwarek, son-in-law John George Zizwarek, sister Nancy Garten, sisters-in-law Nancy Gardner and Laurel Gardner, and many nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews, and great-great nieces and great-great nephews.
Born June 19, 1940 in Washington, D.C., Tom attended Silver Spring Elementary School, Eastern Junior High School and Montgomery Blair High School where he graduated in 1958. It was in eighth grade that he met his future wife, June.
After high school, Tom joined the United States Coast Guard for four years where he served aboard the Bibb as a radio operator. On April 22, 1961, he married his long time sweetheart, June. In 1962, he worked with his father repairing typewriters, Dictaphones, etc. From 1963 until 1989, Tom joined the Washington, D.C. Fire Department where he served as a firefighter, fire investigator and an EMT. He also served as a volunteer EMT for Montgomery County, Maryland, and served the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad in Charles County, Maryland as a volunteer paramedic and Chief of the Rescue Squad for a combined total of 25 years.
In 1992, Tom and his wife June moved to Florida. They lived in The Villages and Pennbrooke Fairways off and on, and also spent many years living full-time in their motorhome while traveling the country. In addition, from high school up until 2013, Tom greatly enjoyed playing the saxophone. He was a member of several different community bands.
Sadly, in 2012, Tom developed myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a bone marrow disorder. This weakened his immune system and in April 2015, he contracted pneumonia. In combination with a history of heart problems, he passed away May 18, 2015 at exactly 6:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to either the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department, 3245 Old Washington Road, Waldorf, MD, 20602 (www.waldorfvfd.com), or to The MDS Foundation, 4573 South Broad Street, Suite 150, Yardville, NJ 08620 (1-800-637-0839, www.mds-foundation.org).