Shaftsbury, Vt – Gary A. Gardner, 68, a resident of Rod and Gun Club Road in Shaftsbury, VT died Sunday December 12, 2021 at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington following a brief illness.
He was born in Bennington, VT. June 28, 1953. He was the son of the late Richard Gardner Sr. and Shirley (Bump) Gardner. Gary received his education in Bennington, VT. He served in the United States Army and was a member of the Army National Guard.
He married the former Robin Haynes on January 1, 1994. They were married at the Four Chimneys in Bennington by Robin’s grandmother, Roberta Haynes.
Gary started his career in the automobile business in his early teens by washing cars and changing oil at the Ford Garage in Bennington. It was the beginning of a very long career in the automobile business, and he considered himself fortunate to begin it working under the tutelage of Alan Morrison, a man that Gary respected greatly. Alan and Gary worked together for many years until the late 1970’s when Gary opened Ace Auto Sales on Route 7A in Shaftsbury. He later moved Ace Auto to the corner lot of 101 Northside Drive in Bennington. Ace Auto eventually grew into Green Mountain Subaru, one of the first Subaru franchises in Vermont. Green Mountain Subaru was purchased by Bennington Subaru and Gary once again ventured back into the used car business opening of Gardner Motor Sports with his wife Robin Gardner in the early 2000’s where it remains today.
Gardner Motor Sports was often akin a local diner where everyone knew your name, it was a place for friends to congregate over coffee, relatives to stop by for lunch and most importantly Gary knew everyone’s name, and their story. While everyone knew that Gary loved to tell a story himself, and was quick with a humorous anecdote, very few knew that he was incredibly charitable. He could always be counted on to support local youth teams, local stock car drivers, and hundreds of families whenever they got into a little pinch and needed some extra help. In nearly all those occasions he preferred to remain anonymous. Much like the muscle cars of his youth his life story was built, not bought, and he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
He greatly enjoyed hunting and fishing, as well as spending time with his sons and his friends at his camp in West Rupert. He also loved classic cars. Much as he greatly missed his friends and family that passed before him, Gary will be greatly missed by his friends and family that survive him.
Survivors include his wife, Robin Gardner of Shaftsbury. His children, Jeromy Gardner (Heather) of Sandgate, VT, Michael Gardner (Ashley) of Shaftsbury, VT and Bethany Haynes-Champagne (Jason) of Cambridge. Mother-in-law Leona Center of Cambridge, Father-in-law George S Haynes of Brattleboro. Brother-in-law George Haynes (Eileen) of Cambridge. Seven grandchildren, Shane Haynes, Andre Champagne, Bianca Champagne, Leona Champagne, Edie Gardner, Matthew and Tilia Gardner. His brothers and sisters and their spouses, Richard Gardner Jr. (Joyce), Linda Greenslet(Steve), Gail Elmore (Edward), Sharon Gardner(Bob), Wendy Chenaille (Jimmy) and Kim Livingston(Mike) all of Bennington. Along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Friends called at the Mahar and Son Funeral Home on Thursday December 16, 2021 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. The family asks that all those attending should be masked and follow all Covid-19 guidelines.
The burial will be private and will take place in the family lot at Center Shaftsbury Cemetery.
If friends desire contributions in memory of Gary A. Gardner may be made to a charity of their choice through the office of the Mahar and Son Funeral Home, 628 Main St. Bennington, VT 05201. Guest book condolences may be made at www.maharandsonfuneralhome.net
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