Donald C. Gardner, 81, machinist, civic activist

December 04, 2003

Donald C. Gardner, an Elvaton civic activist and retired machinist and tool-and-die maker, died Sunday of a colon disease at Anne Arundel Medical Center. The Millersville resident was 81.

Born and raised in Bedford, Pa., he moved to Baltimore in 1940. During World War II, he served in the Army's tank corps.

A master machinist and tool-and-die maker, he worked at American Can Co. and American Standard. He retired in 1988 as a model maker at the Navy's David Taylor Research Center in Annapolis.

In 1951, Mr. Gardner moved to Millersville, where he helped establish the Greater Pasadena and Elvaton Recreation Council, later the Elvaton Recreation Association.

"He wanted to bring sports - baseball was his focus - for the children in the central part of Anne Arundel County," said a daughter, Virginia G. Crespo of Millersville.

Family members said he was recognized when Elvaton Park, off Dogwood Road in Millersville, was dedicated in 1974 in honor of him and his wife of 60 years, the former Margaret Callan, who died in July.

He was a founding member of St. Bernadette Roman Catholic Church, 801 Stevenson Road in Severn, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

Survivors also include five sons, Donald Gardner of Charlotte, N.C., William Gardner of Westminster and Joseph Gardner, Kenneth Gardner and Michael Gardner, all of Millersville; two other daughters, Maureen Little of Des Moines, Iowa, and Elizabeth Spears of Crownsville; three brothers, Vaughn Gardner of Fork, Kenneth Gardner of Dundalk and Patrick Gardner of Joppa; two sisters, Eva June McGehee and Margaret Bands, both of Bel Air; 27 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren. A son, Ronald Gardner, died last year.

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