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Jesse Gardner Jr. went home to be with the Lord on April 17, 2019. Jesse was born August 31, 1922 in Swannanoa, NC to Jesse Gardner and Katie Moore Gardner.
He went to Carver Elementary School and graduated from Stephens Lee High School. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the Army. Jesse moved up the ranks and was soon promoted to the Military Police and was honorably discharged. After serving his country he came back home and got a job at Beacon Blankets driving trucks over the road for over 25 years.
He soon met his wife to be Margaret Moore. After a short courtship they married and built a home with the help of friends and neighbors. The house is still standing 70 years later. They soon started a family and their union produced 7 children; Martha, Barbara, Beverly, Steve, David, Alfred and Anthony Gardner; 21 grandchildren; and 10 great grandchildren.
Jesse is preceded in death by his wife, Margaret; his daughter, Martha; his brothers, Will Lee, Esau, and Jacob; and sisters, Margaret Freeman and Addy Fruittrail.
Jesse was a very kind and patient man and everyone loved him that met him. He loved his family very much and they loved and cherished him even more. In his later years, he took many trips with his family to every family reunion all over the country being the oldest to attend but he would always be there spreading his wisdom and funny stories about his life to everyone he talked to. He also took many trips with to his grandson Jager’s football games and when he would see the games on tv you could just see the pride on his face.
A few years ago Jesse had a stay at the VA Rehab Facility and when he was being released, one of the gentlemen had passed away and as he was leaving they were taking the gentleman out in the opposite direction from Jesse and they had a standing salute for the deceased gentleman and his daughter Beverly was wheeling Jesse out and everyone was standing; he thought everyone was standing and saluting him! He told his daughter Beverly, "Wow! These people really like me. Everybody is standing and saluting me!" My sister didn’t have the heart to tell him it wasn’t for him and he told that story to lots of people! He was a character with a great sense of humor! We will miss him greatly!!
A funeral service will be held at 2pm, Thursday, April 25, 2019 at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery Chapel in Black Mountain, NC. The family will be receiving friends from 2pm-4pm, Tuesday, April 23, 2019 in the Penland Family Funeral Home chapel in Swannanoa. The Rev. Herbert Grant will be officiating. Penland Family Funeral Home is honored to be caring for the Gardner Family.