Grantham, New Hampshire - Joseph F. Gardner died peacefully at the Pine Rock Manor Assisted Living Facility on February 20, 2019 in Warner, New Hampshire at the age of 92, surrounded by his family.
Joseph was born on April 24, 1926 in Staten Island, New York to John and Mary Gardner. His father died of pneumonia when Joseph was just one year old. He was raised by his mother with the help of his older brother, Jack, eight years his senior, and sister Margaret, five years his senior.
Anxious to serve his country during wartime, he left New Dorp High School early and enlisted in the US Navy. He joined in 1943 and served in Naval Intelligence in the Pacific Theater for the duration of the War.
After the War, Joseph attended and graduated from New York University, where he studied Architecture. He later completed architectural courses from Columbia University and a Graduated Drafting Course from National Technical Institute.
In 1952, Joseph married Frances Ferragamo in Staten Island, NY and went on to have six children together. In 1959 they left New York with their four sons and moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut where they added two daughters to the family.
Joseph’s career was spent in various disciplines in architecture and construction. He was employed at Republic Aircraft in New York, followed by ten years at Equitable Life Assurance Society in New York City as the head of the Field Office Planning Division. In the 1970’s he managed Federal Housing Administration rehabilitation project in Hoboken, NJ. Joseph moved on to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities in residential and commercial construction for the remainder of his career.
Joseph was a devout Catholic and had been active in the Knights of Columbus, holding the office of Grand Knight in the Marquette Council KoC, of Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic church in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
With his own four boys showing an interest in scouting, Joseph started volunteering early and became very active in Boy Scouts of America leadership. He had risen to the position of Commissioner and for twenty years ran a Boy Scout Marksmanship Rifle team in Ridgefield. He was a National Rifle Association Instructor in pistol, rifle and shotgun and a Hunter Safety Instructor with the Environmental Protection Agency of Connecticut.
Joseph enjoyed life with his family and made the most of it by staying active. He was an outdoorsman and had many interests. His leisure activities over the years included sailing, painting, model railroading, photography, boating, skiing, hunting, fishing and anything else that tickled his fancy. He had his Amateur Radio License and was a member of the Amateur Radio Relay league. He kept his ham radio hobby long into retirement.
After retiring, he and his wife, Fran, traveled the country in their RV, visiting all the lower 48 states. They moved to Grantham, NH in 1995 where they have enjoyed their retirement in a beautiful lakefront setting.
Surviving family members include his wife of sixty-six years, Frances; son Brian Gardner and his wife Christina Gardner of Waterbury, CT; son Kenan Gardner of Grantham, NH; son Timothy Gardner and his wife Deborah Gardner of Ridgefield, CT; daughter Judy Gardner of Bristol, CT; daughter Jacqueline Kempf and her husband Jim Kempf of Amherst, NH. He is also survived by six grandchildren; Nicole Yustin, Kristen Gardner, David Gardner, Kimberly Gardner, Alexander Kempf and Jonathan Kempf.
Joe is predeceased by his brother John Gardner, sister Margaret Knight, and son John F. Gardner.
A mass is scheduled for 11am on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic church in New London, New Hampshire with burial in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Joseph’s favorite charity,
The Salvation Army at https://give.salvationarmyusa.org/give/164006/#!/donation/checkout or
Bayada Home Health Care at https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1441751
Newton-Bartlett Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.