George S. Gardiner, 91, store founder

August 23, 2006

George S. Gardiner, founder of a chain of Baltimore area furniture stores, died of heart failure Thursday at Oak Crest Village in Parkville, where he had lived since 1995. The former Towson resident was 91.

Mr. Gardiner was born and raised in Baltimore and graduated in 1932 from Polytechnic Institute.

He became a licensed electrician and during World War II was deferred from serving in the military because of a severe heart condition.

In 1942, he established an appliance repair business on Polk Street in Northeast Baltimore. After the war, he moved the business, Modern Appliance and Service Co., to larger quarters on Harford Road, where he continued selling and repairing appliances.

In 1964, he jettisoned appliances and repairs, transforming the business into Gardiner's Furniture on East Joppa Road in Towson. The business, which since 1986 has been owned and operated by two nephews, has expanded, with additional stores in Bel Air, Catonsville, Pasadena and Westminster.

Mr. Gardiner was a longtime communicant and 20-year member of the board of trustees of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Baltimore.

Services were Monday.

Surviving are three nephews, Gary E. Mullaney and Gregory C. Mullaney, both of Cockeysville, and Russell Gardiner Jr. of Bel Air; and a niece, Linda Doak of Bel Air.

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