Salem – Roland E. “Snook” Gardner, 86, formerly of Putnam and Woodstock, died Sunday, March 12, 2023, at home surrounded by his family. Born and raised in Putnam, he was the son of the late Arthur & Grace (Morel) Gardner. He was married to the late Lorraine Jean (Rowe) Gardner, who passed away on December 7, 2007.
Snook was a retired Chemist, having worked at the Putnam Water and Sewer Treatment Plant from the 1970’s until his retirement in 1999. He was an avid sports enthusiast and enjoyed participating in local sports, supporting his children and grandchildren and their teams. Always generous with his time, he could be found working at many of local sporting events. Additionally, he enjoyed playing pitch at the Putnam Elks Club and going to Foxwoods. He was a member of Saint Mary’s Parish and volunteered for four decades at the annual Circle of Fun in the food booth.
Following the death of Lorraine, he met and fell in love with Barbara Champion of Salem, CT. Together, they enjoyed retirement to the fullest, joining several singles groups in the Montville-Norwich area and making many friends along the way. They loved to travel with their friends, visiting the Pocono’s, cruising the Caribbean and even to a dude ranch.
He was known to many for his sarcastic, sharp wit and generous spirit. He enjoyed chocolate martini’s, bloody mary’s, the Cleveland Browns, coffee ice cream, crossword puzzles and word jumbles. He especially loved spending time with his family and friends.
Roland is survived by his sons, Kenneth Gardner and his wife, Katherine of Putnam, Michael Gardner and his wife Nicole of Naples, FL. and Robert Gardner of Lincoln, RI; a brother, Charlie Gardner of Henderson, NV; his grandchildren, Kyle Johnson-Gardner, Eric Gardner, Ryan Gardner, Joshua Gardner (currently serving in the U.S. Army), Madison Gardner and two great-grandchildren, Callie Gardner and Elliot Gardner. His companion, Barbara Champion and many nieces, nephews and friends. In addition to his wife, Lorraine, he was predeceased by his brothers, Richard, Joseph, Paul and Donald Gardner.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Roland’s family from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday, March 17, 2023, in the Gilman Funeral Home and Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT 06260. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at 11:00 am in Our Lady of the Lakes Church, 757 Norwich-Salem Turnpike, Oakdale, CT. (Please meet directly at church). For a memorial guestbook please visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.
Ken, Michael, Bobby and the entire Gardner Family – Deb and I would like to our sympathies and prayers to each of you. Snook was a wonderful man who we loved very much. Always gracious and always funny. The man had some stories! We are so privileged to have know him and to have him part of our lives. We are forever thankful for his friendship and for all he did with the Circle of Fun in the food booth. We were lucky enough to have been the recipient of one of his glass bottle lanterns, which we absolutely will cherish. He was a bright spot in this world and that world is a little darker now without him. Much love for him and for the family. May he Rest in Peace and walk with the Angels. God Bless.
My deepest sympathies to you all He was the best always made me laugh, rest in peace dear friend
Oh the stories Snook could tell. My deepest condolences to my Gardner family and friends/loved ones of Snook. His wit was sharp and funny, he was sweet and kind, and he was and will always be so loved. Big big hugs. What a celebration to go on in the Heavens.
Kenny,Mickey, Bobby, Barbara, may Uncle Roland meet with Aunt Loraine, his brothers, Richard,Paul, Donald, Francis(Joe), Grandpa, Grandma, in heaven with the Lord our savior Jesus Christ the guiding light. We will meet with him again someday when our calling will come.
May God give you the strength and bring you peace and remove the sorrow you must be feeling for losing Roland.
Snook had the most amazing sense of humor and loved all people he touched. He had that special gift most people in this world would long to possess. He loved sports and his entire family dearly. We were so fortunate to have the big family get togethers in the past few years, so much love and affection shared with all the cousins and their families. The family tree has grown to so many and Snook was a big part of all of us.
I will miss him and the heartfelt discussions we shared throughout the years.
Remember SSS, never forget, he loved having fun a making people laugh.
My deepest condolences on the loss of our Dad. It is an honor to be allowed to call Snook Dad for all these years. He treated me and my brothers like everyone else, with laughter and a smile and attentive ears (yup, that’s a jibe). And what a memorable laugh he had. I still miss english muffins at midnight when I slept over, and he and Mom filling my parents house with laughter during a morning coffee. God bless you all.
The Gardner family & Barbara,
To the Gardner family & Barbara,
Snook was a great guy, always quick with his whit & wisdom, I enjoyed playing cards with him especially in the Elks pitch league. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.
With sympathy & friendship,
Snook was a wonderful person. Knew him for many years. We shared the same type of sense of humor. Most often saw each other at Circle of Fun while he was in his special chair with his crown. Other times would sometime see him at Bill’s Bread and Breakfast. He always had time to chat. My sincere condolences to his family. Snook will be missed by many who knew him.
Paul & Gloria Nelson
Barbara, Kenney, Michael & Bobby & all the Gardner family, with our deepest sympathies. over the years we had so many great vacations with Roland & Barbara. the poconos, dude ranch cape cod maryland philadelphia. had a lot of laughs kayaking white water rafting the list goes on. we will miss Roland so very much. god bless Paul & Gloria Nelson
I saw Snooky for three days every year- for the past 20+ years. He was the king in our Food Booth. I replaced his metal folding chair with a red “throne”. We never had to call him…..he just showed up…every year. I loved him like my own family. He made me laugh always. He created the “Snooky burger”—a fried dough with two hamburger patties….onions and peppers and melted cheese….. Snooky left the fair grounds every year with a hug -a smile-and a wave- saying” I will be back next year unless you see me in the obituaries”. I will miss that hug and that smile.
Our deepest sympathy to the family on the loss of Snook. He will truly be missed by all who knew him. Sending this message from Tim and I along with my parents, Rolly and Alma Johnson.
Our condolences to your family and Barbara. May God Bless you all during this time. We will miss Roland tremendously. We feel very blessed to of gotten to know him through the years.. May the angels watch over him always.
All our Love,
John, Wendy and Jade Champion
our deepest condolences to the Gardner family. Snook was one of a kind. We had many great yrs playing softball together and coaching his sons in American Legion Baseball. He was a great supporter and friend for over 50 yrs!!
Tom “Coach” Auclair
Avon Park, Fl
Our sympathy to Snook’s family, he was a special person. Scott & Debbie Lefebvre
To the Gardner family and Barbara
My sincere condolence to all of you during this time os great loss. Snook was a very good friend to my father, Nelson LaRose. He and my father went on a trip to Notre Dame and had a great time. Snook was very generous with his time visiting my father everyday at Matulitis during my father’s last three months of his Iife. He even took the time to stop by at my hone to check up on me. I will always remember how kind he was and the “laugh” he had which brightened any spot. Such a wonderful man.
He was special and we all were so lucky to have known him and to call a friend. May God bless you Snooks you definitely earned your wings to heaven.
Norma K. LaRose