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James D. Gardner - 90

Tinley Park, Illinois

James D. Gardner, of Tinley Park, died Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, at home, surrounded by his loved ones. The former resident of Matteson and Chicago Heights was 90 years old.

James, who served as a U.S. Army corporal during the Korean War, was a true builder. A carpenter by trade, he built multiple businesses, including a warehouse with his brother Bob, as well as a successful contracting operation, JC Gardner and Co. He built his house with his own two hands. And perhaps most importantly, he built a loving family with wife Evelyn “June” Wilson, with whom he enjoyed 54 years of marriage before her death in 2010.

The couple had two children, Catherine (Charles) Maher and Christine (Richard) Johnson, with whom they shared many adventures. And when grandkids Becky (Benjamin) Maher-Jacobson and Amy (fiancé Patrick Gallagher) Maher arrived, they also became his treasured family companions.

James was a true outdoorsman, and he shared those interests with his family. The Gardner clan would regularly pile into a camper and travel the country, making lifelong friends over countless campfires. He loved to sail and fish – especially for salmon in Door County, his favorite place -- and never once complained about baiting hooks for his granddaughters.

James enjoyed spending time with his siblings Mel (Bette) Gardner, Jerry (late Joyce) Gardner, Michael Gardner, sister-in-law Rose Gardner, Sharon (late Bennie) Walls Sr., the late Arlene (late Ralph Pignatiello, late Frank Dominik) Dominik-Pignatiello, the late Robert (Connie) Gardner and the late Maxine (late Charles) Howe. He also leaves behind special friend Lorrie Corgan and too many nieces nephews and friends to count.

Family members remember James as the kind, generous patriarch of a far-flung extended family, and as a man of principles and indisputable integrity.

Resting at Panozzo Bros Funeral Home, 530 W. 14th St (US Rt 30, 3 blks E of Western Ave) Chicago Heights on Monday February 13, 2023 from 4 to 8 p.m.  Funeral Tuesday, February 14, 2023 9:15 am  from funeral home to St. Veronica (formerly Infant Jesus of Prague Church), 1131 Douglas, Flossmoor. Funeral Mass 10:00 a.m. Internment Calvary Cemetery in Steger. In Lieu of flowers donations may be made in James name to Together We Cope at 17728 Oak Park Ave, #B, Tinley Park, IL 60477 or

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