Nov. 29, 2020
Michael H. Gardner, 64, of Gray, went to be with the Lord Sunday, Nov. 29. Funeral services were held Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 11:00 a.m. at Elam Baptist Church. The Reverend Gary Thomas officiated. The family greeted friends Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Hart’s Mortuary, Jones County Chapel. Private burial was held at Elam Memorial Gardens Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to DAD’S Day (Dollars Against Diabetes), Central Georgia Federation of Trades & Labor Council AFL-CIO, P.O. Box 2565, Macon, GA 31203.
The eldest son of Vic and Joanne Gardner, Mr. Gardner was born in Macon and lived in Jones County for the past 64 years. He was a very active leader in organized labor. He started his union career in 1976 by joining the United Paper Workers while working at Inland Container. After going to work at Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., his first elected union position was as a shop steward for the Baker, Confectionery, & Tobacco Workers Union Local 362-T. Mr. Gardner then served once as vice-president and then financial secretary for Local 362 for 20 years. He was elected to serve on five contract committees, plant safety committee, and was a registered labor lobbyist for Local 362-T for 12 years.
After retiring from Brown & Williamson, Mr. Gardner went on staff as a lead organizer for Service Employees International Union Local 1985 for five years. He was then employed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1316 as the Membership & Business Development Director until August 2012.
Mr. Gardner had served as president or secretary - Treasure for the Central Georgia Federation of Trades & Labor Council AFL-CIO for 25 years. He was a proud 22-year member of IBEW 1316.
Mr. Gardner had served in the past on the Georgia State AFL-CIO Executive Board, Executive Committee fo United Way of Central Georgia, Middle Georgi Community Food Bank, Bibb County Democratic Executive Committee, and Chairman for the Bibb County Board of Elections. One of Mr. Gardner’s greatest honors was to be inducted into the Georgia State AFL-CIO Hall of Fame in 2017.
Mr. Gardner was a baseball and softball coach at West Macon Little League for several years. A ball player himself, he was a part of the 1984 and 1985 ASA Industrial National Championship Teams and the 1986 ISA World Champions.
Mr. Gardner is a Christian and a member of Elam Baptist Church in Gray. He served as a Past Worshipful Master for Fort Hawkins F&AM Lodge #418 and a member of Sincerity F&AM Lodge #430 and a noble in the Al Sihah Shrine Temple. Mr. Gardner is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #2218, The Camp of the Unknown Soldier, Gray, Georgia.
Mr. Gardner is survived by his parents, Vic and Joanne Gardner of Jones County; son, Stewart Dustin (Stacy) Gardner; daughter, Michael Tara Gardner; and brother, Rusty (Rhonda) Gardner. He was the proud grandfather, “Papa”, of six grandchildren, Cheyenne, 16, Hunter, 14, Eli, 11, Evan 9, Kennedy, 8, and Savannah, 5. He is also survived by his niece, Dr. Lacy (Jeremy) Gardner-Hattaway; nephew, Russ Gardner; and great-nephews, Phoenix Hattaway and one on the way.
Please visit www. hartsmort.com to express condolences.
Hart’s Jones County Chapel, Hart’s Mortuary and Cremation Center, 307 Pecan Lane, Gray, GA 31032 has charge of the arrangements.