Obituary: Gerry Gardner

Worked on stealth bomber, Disney Imagineer, traveler, sportsman

Former longtime Claremont resident Gerry Gardner died October 19 near his home in Carlsbad, California. He was 82 years old.

Gerry emigrated to the United States from England in 1968 with his wife, Catherine, and their two small children. He took a job at Sikorsky Aircraft and the family settled in Trumbull, Connecticut. By 1980 the Gardners had two more kids and had relocated to Claremont. He went to work for Western Gear and Northrup, where he worked on the gear boxes for the B-2 stealth bomber.

In 1994 he was recruited by Disney as an Imagineer and went to work at the Imaginarium Studio in Burbank. His final three years before retirement were spent in Japan as a senior Imagineer for the construction and grand opening of Disney Seas Tokyo. It was during this time he hiked to the summit of Mt. Fuji.

After returning from Japan the couple retired to Carlsbad, California, where he served as a volunteer peace officer for the Carlsbad Police Department from 2003 to 2013. He was an avid mountain bike rider, hiker, and tennis player, played rugby, and enjoyed kayaking.

The couple traveled the globe, including most of Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, and South America, to name a few of their destinations.

He was predeceased by his parents, and brothers, Kenneth and Brian.

He leaves behind sisters Babs Ranyard and Sue Large, as well as many family and friends both in the U.K. and here in the U.S.

He also leaves his beloved wife of 56 years, Catherine; daughter Carly of Claremont; sons Steve (Sonia, Jason) of Carlsbad, California; Mike (Stephanie, Theresa, Shaun) of Arcadia, California; and Kevin of Brea, California.

One of his last trips was camping in Mexico with all three of his sons. The last movie he enjoyed in the theatre was “Bohemian Rhapsody” with his daughter.

“It was Gerry’s wish (and brilliant idea) that in lieu of sending flowers for him, please instead send those same flowers to someone you love, who is here and can enjoy them today, buy a round of drinks, or buy a kid an ice cream to honor his memory,” his family shared.


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