American Patriotic 10

Fred H. Gardiner

December 26, 1933 ~ November 18, 2021 (age 87)


Fred H. Gardiner age 87, passed away peacefully Thursday, November 18, 2021 at The Watermark at 3030 Park Avenue in Bridgeport. Born in Bridgeport on December 26, 1933, the son of the late Fred A. and Mildred Gardiner,  he was a lifelong Fairfield resident, growing up on Parkway with 3 siblings who nicknamed him “Deed”, and summered on Pleasure Beach. He attended the Fairfield Public Schools and worked summers tarring the local roads in town. He went on to raise his family on Mona Terrace and then on Old Field Road, where he lived the rest of his life until he moved into assisted living at The Watermark in Bridgeport, CT. 


He attended the Pennsylvania Military College, going on to honorably serve as both a 1st Lieutenant and an Infantry Unit Commander in the US Marine Corps, at Camp Lejeune, NC. He graduated in 1957 from his beloved UCONN, where he was a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and the 1955 Homecoming King. He graduated with a degree in Economics and a minor in Political Science. In his later years, he was also an active member of the UCONN alumni community, regularly visiting his kids while students on campus, attending and tailgating at every home football game (watching from “the Hill”), and walking the parade route along with the UCONN marching band leader. 


He was a devoted parishioner and acolyte for his dearly loved Father Joseph A. Racioppi, rector at Trinity St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Bridgeport. After that, he was a steadfast and lifelong parishioner, and served on the altar, of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fairfield. 


Fred was an active and passionate member of the Fairfield Hook and Ladder Company #1. He served for several years as a member and chairman of the Fairfield Fire Commission, along with his wonderful friends, at the Fairfield Fire Department.


Many will remember Fred most of all as an avid gardener (no pun intended) who grew the best vegetables in town. Most notable were his tomatoes and cucumbers! Anyone who knew, would drive by his house on Old Field Road to honk, smile, and wave as he happily worked endlessly on his yard and in his gardens. 


Professionally, he worked almost his entire life for Southern New England Telephone (SNET) as a Manager of Community Affairs. He also had years of gratifying and extensive community involvement in a variety of positions including: director and member of the executive committee for Bridgeport Regional Business Council, board member of the Bridgeport Public Education Fund, director of the Shelton Economic Development Corporation, commissioner of the Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District, director of the southeastern chapter of Fairfield County Red Cross, lecturer of Fire Department Labor Relations for the International Society of Fire Service Instructors. He was also active in the Kiwanis Club, the Algonquin Club, and Bridgeport’s Barnum Festival, once serving as the Festival King. 


He is survived by his former spouse and lifelong friend, Diane S. Gardiner of Bridgeport, CT. He also leaves behind his pride and joy, his four children, Kyle H. Gardiner of Stratford; Erik T. Gardiner and his wife, Nancy, of Fairfield; Jennifer G. Chiota and her husband, Chris, of Southborough, MA; and Allison G. Kovac of Bridgeport. As well as his ten grandchildren, Ryan, Shane and Ben Gardiner; Chloe, Olivia, Grace, and Graham Chiota; Gwen, Eve and Tillman Kovac. 


He is also survived by three siblings, Shelley Ledoux, Daniel Gardiner, Virginia Gardiner, as well as two nephews and two nieces.


A memorial service, at a date to be announced, will be held next spring outside in the memorial garden at St. Paul’s Church in Fairfield. 


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Fred H. Gardiner, please visit our floral store.


Services will be held at a later date.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Fairfield)
661 Old Post Rd
Fairfield, CT 06824

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