James Carroll (Jimmy) Gardner

Published 4:22 pm Wednesday, May 28, 2014

James Carroll (Jimmy) Gardner was born May 4, 1949, in Crenshaw County, Ala., to Julius Carroll and Rilla Till Gardner.  Jimmy moved to Butler County in 1950 and attended Forest Home School through seventh grade when he transferred to Greenville.  He graduated from Greenville High School in 1967 before attending Troy State University.  Jimmy served in Vietnam and Korea before finishing at Troy in 1972 with degrees in mathematics and physical education.  He married his first wife, Mollie Cumbie, in 1975.  During their 19 year marriage, they had three children: Josh, Caleb, and Abbie.  In 2008, he married fellow Troy University fanatic, Wanda Morgan Motes.  They enjoyed a life full of traveling to Troy games, life on the farm, and spoiling grandchildren until he passed from a battle with cancer on May 28, 2014.

Jimmy Gardner enjoyed life. He coached high school football for 41 years and was a devoted good neighbor as a State Farm Insurance agent for 35 years.  A few of his most cherished accolades include memberships in the AISA Hall of Fame, Fort Dale Academy Athletic Hall of Fame, Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Business Leader Award, and his lifelong membership in Forest Home Methodist Church.

James Carroll Gardner, 65, was preceded in death by his father, Julius Carroll Gardner.  He is survived by his mother, Rilla Till Gardner (89); his wife, Wanda Gardner; his brother, Ronnie Gardner (Paula), his sister, Fleta Richard (late Pat Richard); his three children, Dr. Josh Gardner (Hilarie), Dr. Caleb Gardner (Sarah Ellen), Abbie Ballew (Brad); two step-daughters, Melanie Garner (Wes), and Lauran Lott (Frankie); three nephews, Frank Richard, Joseph Gardner, and Dow Gardner; one niece, Hannah Coody; and 12 grandchildren.

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Visitation will be at Dunklin and Daniels Funeral Home on Thursday, May 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Funeral services will be held at Forest Home Methodist Church at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 30, with Rev. Allen Stephenson and Mr. Daniel Autrey officiating and Dunklin & Daniels Funeral directing.  Burial will follow in Forest Home Cemetery.  A “celebration of life” lunch will be held at the Gardner Home after graveside services.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his honor be made to either Fort Dale Academy Playground Fund, 1100 Gamble Street, Greenville, AL 36037 or Forest Home Methodist Church.

Online condolences may be made at www.dunklinanddanielsfh.com.