Jefferson Boyd Gardner was so impatient to make his way into the world that he was born at a fire station on the way to the hospital on March 18, 1985.
Growing up, “Jeffy” was a sweet boy who loved outdoor adventures and played football.
His mother remembers him as the most sensitive and gentle of her four boys. He was usually found traipsing through the woods with his faithful Newfoundland Midnight and his younger brother James.
Jeff was a voracious reader (likely instilled by his librarian mom) and enjoyed campfires, sport shooting and video games.
His soft heart led to a constant stream of adopted animals from kittens and puppies to his last rescue, six ducklings.
He loved his family and was the ideal fun uncle — sneaking candy before dinner and introducing slightly age inappropriate first-person shooter games. His nephews and niece were devoted to him. Jeff was funny, always ready with a joke or snarky comment to break tension.
Jeff left as quickly as he arrived on Aug. 20, 2021.
He is survived by his parents, Jeffrey and Carol (nee Hodder) Gardner; three brothers, Alexander Gardner (Jessica), Anderson Gardner (Carolyn) and James Gardner (Chelsea); and six nephews and niece.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, at Christ Covenant Church, 16406 Kinsman Road, Middlefield, with Rev. Mike Southern officiating.
Family and friends will be received from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Lake Geauga Recovery Centers or Ducks Unlimited. If you or someone you know are struggling with addiction, please call (440) 255-0678 for help.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Best Funeral Home.