Cover photo for Dr. Gary Gardner's Obituary
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1937 Dr. Gary 2022

Dr. Gary Gardner

March 6, 1937 — May 18, 2022

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at Centenary United Methodist Church, 704 SW D Avenue, Lawton, OK 73505. Arrangements with Hart-Wyatt Funeral Home in Walters.

Dr. Gary Gardner was born in Lawton, OK on March 6, 1937 and departed this life in Lawton, OK on May 18, 2022 at 85 years old. He grew up in Walters, OK and attended Walters High School. He then attended Oklahoma City University, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Business. at OCU. Gary was member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and was on the basketball team and golf team.

Gary met Judith Randolph at OCU in 1958. While Gary was a basketball player for OCU he was chosen to be the model for the “Eternal Challenge” bronze statue by Leonard D. McMurry which is in the middle of OCU campus. He was dating Judith and asked her to be a model with him. Over the years of their marriage, they reflected on the statue and brought their kids to see the “Love in Bronze” which they called their statue.

He went on to attend the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry from 1959-1962. My dad’s words--Gary’s years at the College of Dentistry were the most enjoyable years of his life. He loved the challenge of learning to become a quality dentist. He appreciated the support and friendships of all his classmates. Gary owes his professional career to the outstanding professors at University of Tennessee.

Gary Gardner married Judith Charmaine Randolph on August 3rd, 1958, at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City, OK. After graduation from dental school, Gary began working with the Oklahoma Department of Health from 1962-1963 as well as being in the U.S. Army Reserves. He was a research assistant to Dr. James Andrews in operative clinic following “the health or death of pulp caps.” Dr. Andrews was a huge influence on Gary throughout his life down to having a high shine on his dress shoes every day.

Dr. Gardner started his dental practice in Lawton Oklahoma and loved his profession from 1963-2007. One year after retirement Gary took over an established prosthetics dental practice limited to full dentures and partial dentures from 2008-2011.
Gary was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church and served as a board chairperson. He was elected President of the Oklahoma Dental Association in 1976, and was a life member of Oklahoma Dental Association, the Internal College of Dentists, the American College of Dentists, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. He had also been a board member Southwest Opera Guild, member of Arts for All, Community Theatre, Lawton Country Club as an active golfer. At age 31 was introduce to Doctor Kenneth Cooper of Cooper Clinic in Dallas, TX and began running ½ marathons and 10 Ks for next 40 years. He had passion for running because wanted to beat the odds since his dad passed away from heart failure.

In 1990 Gary started sculpturing clay to life- sized bronze sculptures. He went on to place five life-sized bronze sculptures; some of his favorites were “General Lawton” in front of McMahon Memorial Auditorium in Lawton Oklahoma, “Buffalo Soldier” on Gore Blvd in Lawton Oklahoma, “Field Artilleryman” at Ft. Sill Military Base, and Doctor Pierre Fauchard “Father of Dentistry” in front of the Oklahoma Dental Association in Oklahoma City.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Bryon & Mildred Gardner.

Survivors include Gary’s wife, Judith Gardner in Lawton, OK; his brother, Dr. Kent Gardner in Arlington Texas; his son, Brad Pollard Gardner in Lawton; his daughter, Alesa K Gibson and husband Dorsey Willard Gibson III in Dallas Texas; a grandson, Dorsey Willard Gibson IV, first-year student at Stanford University; and a grandson, Grant Gardner Gibson graduated from Highland Park High School and attending Oklahoma University in the fall. Gary Gardner was very proud of his grandchildren, which they called him “PapaG.”

Memorial gifts can be made to support Oklahoma City University’s OCU Fund for ongoing university needs and student scholarships. Checks made payable to Oklahoma City University, PO BOX 2780, Oklahoma City, OK 73101 or memorial gifts are accepted online at www.okcu.edu/givehttp:// 

To send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Gary Gardner, please visit our flower store.

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