The Times West Virginian


July 12, 2012

Richard M. “Dick” Gardner

Richard M. “Dick” Gardner, 77, of Jackson Avenue, Morgantown, passed away Monday (July, 9, 2012) at Ruby Memorial Hospital following a valiant battle with gall bladder cancer.

Dick was born Aug. 4, 1934 in Cumberland, Md., the son of William and Thelma Gardner, and was raised in Shinnston, graduating from Shinnston High School in 1952.

He served in the U.S. Navy as a sonar technician and attended the United States Naval Academy. He was a graduate of Fairmont State College and received his MBA from West Virginia University.

Dick served 35 years at West Virginia University and was professor emeritus in the College of Business and Economics. He was the assistant dean and adjunct assistant professor, where he thrived teaching the large introductory courses in management. Named Outstanding Professor several times, he was very popular with his students and set the highest moral and ethical standards with humor and grace. Prior to becoming assistant dean, Dick served 19 years as the WVU budget director and chief financial officer.

During his tenure at WVU, he was involved in many university service activities and was the face of West Virginia University across West Virginia high schools in the “WVU Day Across West Virginia” program. He served as College Scholarship, Honors and Awards Committee chairman, WVU Alumni Association Board of Directors, WVU Foundation Scholars Selection Committee, “the Mountaineer” Mascot Selection Committee, Mr. and Miss Mountaineer Selection Committee, WVU Faculty Leaders Program, WVU Athletics Recruiter, and for more than 10 years was Santa Claus for the WVU Faculty/Staff Holiday Celebration. He was a member of Mountain, the WVU service honorary.

Outside of WVU, Dick Gardner was a fixture in Morgantown. A Paul Harris Fellow, he was a member of the Morgantown Rotary Club since 1974, serving as president in 1985, and song leader as long as the other members endured him. He internalized and advocated the Rotary 4-Way Test, ensuring all his actions and decisions were grounded in truth, fairness, were beneficial to all, and promoted lasting friendships. Additionally, he served on the Morgantown Utility Board for 20 years, the American Cancer Society Board of Directors, the Black Diamond Girl Scout Council Board of Directors, the Morgantown Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way of Monongalia County. He was basketball coach at First Ward Elementary School for nine years and led the commencement of elementary girls’ basketball in Monongalia County. He was inducted into the Shinnston High School Hall of Fame in 1996.

He was a wonderful husband, father, teacher, mentor and friend to all. His upbeat personality and optimistic outlook on life touched all who knew him. An avid trout fisherman, Dick truly loved the natural beauty of wild, wonderful West Virginia, and on his many travels around the world, could always be seen sporting the Blue and Gold insignia of West Virginia University.

Dick Gardner is survived by Ruth, his loving wife of 27 years; one sister, Deborah McDonald of Fairmont; one son, Capt. Eric W. Gardner, USN, and his wife Amy of Naples, Italy; one daughter, Valerie Powers and her husband Neil of Richmond, Va.; two stepsons, Stuart Price and Jason Price, both of Salt Lake City, Utah; and five grandchildren, Grace and Sophie Gardner of Naples, Italy, and Dylan, Zachary and Cole Powers of Richmond, Va.

Family and friends will be received at Hastings Funeral Home, 153 Spruce St., Morgantown, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. today and again on Friday from 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 10 a.m. in the funeral home with the Rev. Michael Q. Atkinson officiating. Internment will follow at Shinnston Masonic Cemetery, Shinnston.

Mr. Gardner’s family wishes to extend their gratitude and thanks to the nurses and staff of 9 West at Ruby Memorial Hospital for the compassionate care afforded Dick over the last two weeks of his life.

In lieu of flowers, Dick requested that well-wishers assist future Mountaineers by making a donation to the Richard M. Gardner Scholarship Fund, College of Business and Economics, West Virginia University, P.O. Box 6025, Morgantown, WV 26505.

Condolences may be made at

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