Timothy A. Gardner of Sanibel Island died on Nov. 25, 2012, of an embolism. He was 70 years old.
Tim was born on Dec. 6, 1941, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in Glendale, Ohio. After graduating from Glendale's Princeton High School in 1959, he attended the University of Kentucky, receiving B.S. degrees in Agriculture and Chemistry. It was here that he met Carol Bugg of Alexandria, Va., and married her in 1965.
Gardner served in the U.S. Army Veterinary Medical Corps during the Vietnam era and, from 1970 to 1988, worked as product manager for regulating agricultural pesticides at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.
Tim and Carol became full-time residents of Sanibel in 1988. For the next 24 years, until the time of his death, he was an outstanding volunteer in many Island organizations. He was a past president of Island Water Association and served on its board of directors for 13 years. He was president of the International Osprey Foundation, the Clam Bayou Preservation Association, and vice president of the Bayous Preservation Association. He was a current board member of the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society and a past board member of both the Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF).
He was certified as an emergency rescue volunteer for CROW and a "Ding" Darling heavy equipment operator; he was a SCCF Loggerhead Sea Turtle permittee (a program in which he volunteered from May through September for 21 years), and was certified as a member of the City of Sanibel Community Emergency Response Team. He served on a variety of committees including SCCF Research, City of Sanibel Wildlife, and was chairman of the City of Sanibel Conservation Committee.
Gardner founded the "Save Silver Key" project and was instrumental in the Key's preservation. He worked on the SCCF Surface Water Quality Monitoring and the Florida Lake Watch program and the SCCF and "Ding" Darling Small Mammal Survey Studies. In addition, Tim served for four years as a Lee County Commissioner for Mosquito Control and, to top it all off, ran the Island Cinema's projectors two nights a week.
As a co-founder of the Clam Bayou Preservation Association, Gardner worked with the City of Sanibel to reconnect Clam Bayou to the Blind Pass Ecosystem. As a co-founder of the Bayous Preservation Association, he brought his many talents to bear on the joint Lee County/CEPD project to reopen Blind Pass.
Gardner was the consummate volunteer, a man of great ability, integrity, energy, dedication and humor, working to protect the ecosystems that are critical to Sanibel's native wildlife.
He is survived by his wife, Carol, of Sanibel, his brother, Tom Gardner, of Elkins, W.Va., his sister-in law, Valerie Bugg, of Louisville, Colo., his nephew, Kevin Bugg, of San Mateo, Calif., and his nieces, Hilary Heath and Pamela Bell, of Louisville, Colo.
A memorial service will be held at the Shell Point Village Church, 15100 Shell Point Rd., on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 11:15 a.m. A reception will follow the service.
Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be sent to the following charities, all on Sanibel, FL 33957: CROW, P.O. Box 150; International Osprey Foundation, P.O. Box 250; Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road; or "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society, P.O. Box 565.