John F. Gardiner, age 76, of Plymouth, went home to be with his Lord on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at the Plymouth Care Center.

He was born Oct. 2, 1936, in Stephenson, Mich., son of John and Lucille (Swanson) Gardiner.

After graduating from high school, John heard the call of his country and entered the United States Army where he served in Panama.

Upon returning home from the military, he received a teaching degree from Northern Michigan University. He taught at Escanaba Middle School and Escanaba High School for over 36 years.

On Dec. 22, 1979, he married Patricia Donovan at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Escanaba, Mich. The couple made their home in Escanaba and moved to Plymouth in their retirement years.

He was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, serving as an usher since moving to Plymouth, and also volunteered at St. Vincent De Paul here in Plymouth.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia of Plymouth; his mother, Lucille Gardiner of Stephenson; three children: Sue (John) Cockrell of Pickney, Mich.; John (Nora) Gardiner of Gastonia, N.C., and Jeffery (Tammy) Gardiner of Escanaba; three stepchildren: Sam Trentin of Escanaba, Vicki Johns of Plymouth and Scott (Lisa) Johns of Iron River, Mich.; six grandchildren: Jon Cole Cockrell of Michigan; Jenna Cockrell of Orlando, Fla.; Athena Trentin of Whitmore Lake, Mich.; Christopher (Brandi) Trentin of Dewitt, Mich., and Eric Frank of Plymouth; six great-grandchildren: Tyler, Lillian, Lucian, Logan and Trenton Cockrell and Maddie Trentin; and a brother, James (Norma) Gardiner of Stephenson.

He was preceded in death by his father, John; and a sister, Nanci Francour.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday morning, March 25, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Plymouth with the Rev. Daniel Volkert officiating. Burial followed in the parish cemetery.

In honor of John’s service in the United States Army, the World’s Cheese Center VFW Post #5612 conducted military rights at the cemetery following the Mass.

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