William Lee Gardner, 75, a longtime resident of North Ridgeville, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, June 30, 2022. Bill was born on April 16, 1947 in Cleveland, OH. After graduating from North Ridgeville High School, he played football for Marietta College. He transferred to the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he graduated in 1971 with a B.S. in Engineering. He later received his masters from the U.S.C. Institute of Safety and Systems Management. Bill was a Renaissance Man. He dutifully served America as a U.S. Air Force pilot in the Vietnam War, where he earned several notable honors, including The Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. He flew in the Air Force Reserve until the late 80’s and eventually retired from the military as a Major. Among his many entrepreneurial pursuits, Bill was a proud owner and active manager of the Cleveland Vibrator Company for 32 years. He also cared deeply for his community and was passionately involved in politics, spending over a decade as a Councilman for the City of North Ridgeville and involved in numerous campaigns. He was a giving member of the community as well, having served on countless boards, most recently the Lorain County Public Health Board, Ohio Association of Boards of Health, Lorain County Port Authority Board, and Regional Airport Board. He was a dedicated member of the North Ridgeville Republican Club, Life Member of the VFW and Life Member of the Daedalians. Despite his endless love for civic duty and business, Bill was nothing without vacation time at his family's lake house in North Hero, VT, where he spent nearly every summer of his life. Bill also enjoyed reading, traveling, discussing history and politics, gardening, and reminiscing about his days as an avid skier and PADI Scuba Diving Instructor. Nothing made him happier than being with his family. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Teresa (née Cuyugan), his daughters, Megan and Katarina, his sons-in-law, David McNamee and Christopher Sams, his grandson, William Gardner McNamee, his siblings, Gail Zoldesy, Nancy Linden, Libby Charles, Norm Gardner and Maria Harrison, his brothers-in-law, Gary Zoldesy, David Charles, Eric Wagner, Leng Maglalang, and Elmer Liwanag, sisters-in-law, Becky Gardner, Mercedes Wagner, Milet Maglalang, and Marithess Liwanag, and several beloved nieces and nephews and their children. He was preceded in death by his parents, William Chester Gardner and Marian Louise Gardner-Stafford (née Johnston). A memorial service to celebrate the life of William Lee Gardner will be held on Sunday September 18, 2022 at 12 noon at the Reeser Grand Room, located in the Spitzer Conference Center at Lorain County Community College in Elyria. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made toward planting trees in memory of Bill in North Ridgeville. For information, please email WLGardnerMemorial@gmail.com.
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