The campus community mourns the passing of Reverend James Gardner, who died on Thursday, May 7, 2020. James retired in 1996 as the Chaplain, after 28 years of service to Bucknell.
Included below is the complete text of the obituary, as provided by the family.
You are encouraged to visit our In Memoriam Site at bucknell.edu/InMemoriam and share personal notes of sympathy and remembrance with others.
On behalf of our entire University community, I extend our deepest sympathies to James’s family, as well as to all who knew him at Bucknell.
John C. Bravman
Rev. James E. Gardner, 88, of Lewisburg, passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 7, 2020, at his home, surrounded by his daughters. After a seven year fight, he succumbed to Lewy Body Dementia with Parkinson’s.
He was born July 9, 1931, in Philadelphia, a son of the late Francis and Josephine (Davis) Gardner. He married the former Patricia Ruth Treasure, who preceded him in death on Nov. 3,2018. Together, they celebrated 65 years of marriage.
James was a Gold Star graduate of Valley Forge Military School, Carnegie Mellon University (master’s in chemical engineering), Philadelphia Divinity School, and General Theological Seminary (master’s in theology and religion).
Jim worked for Atlantic Refinery in Philadelphia as a chemical engineer. He worked in parishes around Philadelphia — Chestnut Hill and West Philadelphia — before moving to Lewisburg in 1968 to accept the position of associate Religion Professor at Bucknell University. He was then offered the chaplain position and was the second chaplain at Rooke Chapel, working there for 25 years. No other chaplain has beaten that record! He continued to teach at Bucknell (teaching groundbreaking classes like Religion and Technology in the 1970s), influencing many students who never lost touch with him. After retiring, Jim became the rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Livingston, N.J., for five years.
Jim was a member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Lewisburg, where he was substitute priest and taught adult forum classes on the Bible. He was active in the local ministerium where he was respected as a great theologian. He volunteered at a local hospice, read to Lewisburg elementary students, visited federal and state inmates, loved to travel, and whistle to Bossanova jazz.
Surviving are two daughters and one son-in-law, Ruth and Keith Flickinger, of Aston, and Paula Gardner, of Lewisburg; one sister, Jane Bender, of Oregon; four grandchildren, Jennifer Monaghan, Maggie Whelan, Ben Flickinger and Erik Flickinger.
In addition to his parents and wife, James was predeceased in death by his brother, John Gardner.
There will be a private interment held in the St. Francis Memorial Garden, St. Andrew Episcopal Church. A celebration of life will be held at a later date and will be open to the public.
The family will provide the flowers and suggest contributions in James’ memory be made to The Lewy Body Dementia Association and St. Andrews Episcopal Church.
The family is being assisted by Cronrath-Grenoble Funeral Home, South Second and St. Louis streets, Lewisburg.
Expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.cronrathgrenoblefuneralhome .com