SSGT (Ret) Gerald L. “Sparky” Gardner, age 66, of Brandenburg, KY gained his Heavenly Firefighter Wings on August 12, 2020 after a valiant battle with Hypopharynx Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Jerry, AKA Sparky, was an Assistant Fire Chief in the U.S. Air Force and traveled to many locations around the world fighting fires and saving lives. Upon retirement, Jerry made Kentucky his home, although, he was a native Floridian growing up in West Palm Beach.
Sparky loved the Air Force, firefighting, motorcycles, animals and his family and friends. He would give you the shirt off his back or his last dime if you were in need.
Sparky was a dedicated member of Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club, Sta. 113, Space Coast Chapter. He donated countless hours assisting with fundraisers such as the Crusade for Children, helping with Wreaths Across America, participating in the “Thanksgiving Basket Brigade” in Cocoa, Florida and playing Santa for different events. He was an active member of the County Line Moose Lodge #2427 in Orlando, and was a lifetime member of the D.A.V., V.F.W., and American Legion.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Ernie and Charlotte Gardner and a sister, Becky Arena. He is survived by his wife, Jackie Prough Gardner; two daughters, Amanda Thurn and her husband Todd, Cocoa, FL and Lauren Thompson, Elizabethtown, KY; two brothers, Wayne Gardner and his wife Becky, Jupiter, FL and Rick Gardner and his wife Kim, Deland, FL; three grandchildren, Mikel Matris, Tanner Thurn and Addisyn Thurn; seven nieces and nephews; two special friends, Jeanne Padgett, Orlando, FL and Diane Frye, Oviedo, FL; and all his fur babies.
Due to current health conditions funeral services will be private and live streamed on Hager Funeral Home’s Facebook Page. A public visitation will be held on Saturday from 1 until 7 PM and Sunday from Noon until 1:45 PM at Hager Funeral Home. A burial service with full Military Honors will be held at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central, Radcliff, KY on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 10:00 AM. Expressions of sympathy may be donations to the Meade County Pets in Need Society or the Crusade for Children.
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