George Walter Gardner

Published 9:22 pm Wednesday, June 19, 2019

George Walter Gardner, 80, of Wilmington, N.C., died Friday, June 14, 2019, at Lower Cape Fear Hospice and Life Care Center, Wilmington, N.C.

He was born on March 7, 1939, in Suffolk, the son of the late Oscar Kennedy Gardner and Esther Marie Holland Gardner. Also remembered is his brother, Thomas Hartful Johnson; a sister-in-law, Sarah Miles Johnson; mother-in-law, Georgene Shelly Smyth; and father-in-law, Karl Benjamin Smyth, all of whom preceded George in death.

Surviving is his wife of 57 years, Carol Smyth Gardner; two daughters, Susan Kimberly Gardner, of Wilmington, and Karen Elizabeth Mayo and husband, Alan Mayo, and grandson, Tyler Mayo, all of Wilmington; nephew, Miles Thomas Johnson, of Raleigh, N.C.; niece, Annie Marie Stamm, of Cary, N.C.; and brother-in-law, Shelly B. Smyth and wife, Jeanne, of Tyler, Texas.

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George graduated cum laude from Wake Forest College, Winston-Salem, N.C., in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and was a graduate of U.S. Army Intelligence Corps School, Fort Holabird, Md. From 1962 to 1965, he served as a special agent with the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps, 111th Intelligence Corps Group, Miami Field Office. Following his military service, he worked form 1965 to 1995 as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Eli Lilly and Company, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where he was involved in the introduction of Humulin to the South Florida Market in 1982.

George was a passionate leader in the Wilmington Prostate Cancer Support Group and an active member of Grace United Methodist Church, serving on the Outreach Committee and active in the Bible Sunday School Class. He was a recipient of the 20-year recognition for commitment to lifelong learning by participating in College Day at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He was also a member of the National Space Society, the Bluefish Society and was a Master Gardner.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 22, 2019, at Grace United Methodist Church with the Rev. Tal Madison officiating.

The family wishes to express a special thanks to all the doctors and nurses who have provided care over the past years. A very special thank you to friend Jerry Cribbs for helping George appreciate the magic of music.

Please consider memorial donations in lieu of flowers to Grace United Methodist Church Music Memorial Fund, 401 Grace St., Wilmington, NC 28401.

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