Kevin Randolph Gardner, affectionately known as "Pap" to his grandchildren, was a beloved High School History Teacher, devout Christian, and a dedicated member of his community. Born on December 3, 1958, in Washington DC, Kevin's passion for education and his compassionate nature made a lasting impact on the lives of countless people.
Kevin graduated from Wheaton High School in 1976 and entered the Army. His military service instilled in him values that shaped his character and commitment to selfless service. After his honorable discharge, he ran a successful home improvement company for over 20 years. As his faith deepened, he began volunteering at church to assist in the youth program and felt called by God to become a teacher. In 1992 he enrolled as a part-time student at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland while still running his business full-time. He graduated in 1998 with an Associates Degree in Secondary Education. He completed his education at University of Maryland University College and received a degree in Behavioral and Social Sciences in 2002 after having been in school part-time for 10 years. He spent his 23 year career teaching at Montrose Christian School in Rockville, Maryland and New Life Christian School in Frederick, Maryland.
From the moment Kevin stepped into the classroom, his vibrant personality and sense of humor shone brightly. He had a knack for incorporating laughter and joy into every lesson, earning him the reputation of being a prankster among his students. But beyond the jokes, Kevin possessed a rare ability to connect with each and every student. He took the time to genuinely know them, recognize their unique strengths, and provide support when they needed it most.
Kevin's impact extended far beyond the walls of his classroom. Kevin and his wife, Joanne, went together on a mission trip to Guatemala in 2003 that had a huge impact on his life and opened up the door to new ministry opportunities. He saw an opportunity to meet the physical and emotional needs of those less fortunate as an avenue to spread the love of God. One of the highlights of Kevin's career was organizing and accompanying senior class trips to Guatemala. He started this program while at Montrose Christian School but brought the program with him to New Life. Through these experiences abroad, he opened young minds to new cultures, expanded their understanding of the world and gave them an opportunity to live out their Christian values. His dedication to this program left an indelible mark on his students, many of whom became full-time missionaries or pastors.
Not only was Kevin a devoted teacher but also a devoted husband. He shared 25 beautiful years of marriage with Joanne Gardner, whom he met at church in 1991. Their love story culminated in a joyous wedding ceremony on June 13, 1998, at Montrose Baptist Church in Rockville, Maryland. Kevin loved animals and could be found chilling out with his cherished cats. In his free time, he could often be found fishing or indulging in metal detection adventures, seeking hidden treasures from the past. He was an avid history buff with a particular fascination for the Vietnam War and the Civil War and could often be found on the battlefields of Gettysburg watching reenactments. Together, Kevin and Joanne created a home filled with love, laughter, and unwavering support for one another.
On July 14, 2023, the world suffered a great loss as Kevin Randolph Gardner passed away. For the past eight months, he fought valiantly against his health challenges, always yearning to return home to his loving family. While his departure came swiftly and peacefully, he was surrounded by loved ones who had been at his side throughout his battle. Kevin had the opportunity to see his grandkids and share tender moments with family members before departing this world, leaving behind unending love and cherished memories.
In addition to his wife Joanne, Kevin leaves behind a legacy of love through his children: Matthew Gardner and his wife Stasia of Darnestown, MD; Caryn Maxwell and her husband Brian of Laurel, MD; and Mirian Douhne and her husband Timothy of Chatsworth, Georgia. The immense pride Kevin felt for his children was surpassed only by the joy he derived from being a grandfather. His grandchildren—Kate Gardner (11), Evelyn Gardner (9), Lillian Gardner, Noelle Gardner (2), Tanner Maxwell (8), and Solomon Douhne (3) —brought him immeasurable happiness and filled his life with treasured memories.
He is preceded in death by his parents Edward Randolph Gardner and Katherine Eloise Rosskopf Gardner and his granddaughter, Lillian Gardner who passed away unexpectedly on January 9, 2020, at 10 months of age.
Kevin's presence in the lives of those who survive him will be deeply missed. He was a pillar of strength for his siblings Kimberly Blahut and Brandt Gardner, providing unwavering support throughout their lives.
Kevin Randolph Gardner has left an indelible mark on all those fortunate enough to have known him. He will forever be remembered for his dedication to his family, his unwavering faith, infectious humor, compassionate heart, commitment to education and was a guiding light in the lives he touched. As we gather to celebrate his life, let us carry on his legacy of love, empathy, and a hunger for knowledge.
The family will receive friends on August 4, 2023, from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Stauffer Funeral Home-Frederick, located at 1621 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, MD 21702. A celebration of Kevin's life will take place on August 5, 2023, starting at 11:00 AM at Calvary in Walkersville. A luncheon reception will follow the service. The address is 8234 Woodsboro Pike, Walkersville, MD 21793.
Memorial Contributions may be made in his name to the American Diabetes Association , Student Homeless Initiative Partnership (SHIP) of Frederick County and https://www.gofundme.com/f/ongoing-expenses-post-heart-attack