Posted on: March 28, 2018
Richard Ernest Gardner, M.D., 78, of Staunton passed away peacefully surrounded by family on March 14, 2018. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest E. and Inez (Hicks) Gardner; and his brother, Joseph E. Gardner, M. D. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Judy (Mayo) Gardner; daughter, Courtney Gardner; daughter, Leslie Anderson and her husband, Jeffrey; son, Richard Gardner, Jr. and his husband, Francis; grandson, Casey Gardner and his fiancé, Nichole; grandsons, Matthew and Ian Anderson; sister, Evelyn G. Marshall; many cherished nieces and nephews; and his beloved cat, Boise.
Richard was born on October 26, 1939, in Hillsville, VA, and grew up working on the family dairy farm. He attended the University of Virginia from 1958 to 1960 and the University of Virginia Medical School from 1960 to 1964. After receiving his medical license from the Virginia State Board of Medicine in 1964, he interned at William Beaumont Army Hospital in El Paso, TX, for a year and then served as Battalion Surgeon at Fort Hood, TX, until 1966. He served as Captain and Brigade Surgeon of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967 where he earned a Bronze Star. Upon his return, he completed his ophthalmology residency at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University in 1971. He established the Staunton Eye Clinic in 1971 and practiced general ophthalmology there until his retirement in 1999. He maintained his medical licensure until his passing.
Richard became a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1972. He was a member and former president of the Virginia Society of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, as well as a member and former president of Kings Daughters Hospital Medical Staff. In addition, he was a member of the Augusta Medical Center Medical Staff, the Virginia Medical Society, the American Medical Association, and an Emeritus member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Richard loved music and reading, and his favorite activities were sailing, playing tennis and beating his friends and family at pool. After retirement, he spent six years captaining his sailboat, Aphrodite, through the Bahamas and Caribbean with his faithful crew, Judy and Ruby the cat. He was a fiercely devoted family man and was most proud of his marriage to Judy, their three children, Courtney, Leslie and Richard, Jr., and their three grandsons, Casey, Matthew and Ian. His unfailing love, support and guidance will be sorely missed by his family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to Covenant Presbyterian Church or the Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad, 1600 North Coalter Street, Staunton, VA 24401.