To the Williams Community,
I was sad to learn this week that a retiree has passed away. Charles E. Gardner Sr., a 26-year veteran of Campus Safety & Security, died July 19 at Berkshire Medical Center. He was 82.
Born in Williamstown in 1933, Chuck attended Williamstown schools and served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955. He worked at the former A&P markets in Williamstown and North Adams, and later had his own soft drink distribution company. He came to the college in 1969 and worked as a campus security officer until his retirement in 1995. After his retirement, he worked as a bus driver for Dufour, Inc.
I am told that Chuck’s nickname while working at the college was ODOP (On Duty On Patrol). He was steady, reliable, and always willing to pass along his knowledge to new officers. He always spoke highly of students, and could defuse any tense situation with his sense of humor.
Chuck was very involved in the Williamstown community. He served with the Williamstown Volunteer Fire Department and was a member of the Gale Hose Co. He was a member of the Williamstown American Legion and the Williams Lodge of Masons and the Melha Shriners. He served three terms as president of the Berkshire Shrine Club. He also loved going camping with his family.
Survivors include his wife, Rita, whom he married in 1956 and who retired from Williams in 1998 after a 35-year career as an administrative assistant; two sons: Charles “Chip” Gardner Jr. and his significant other, Lisa Armstrong, of North Adams, and Mark (Lois) Gardner of Pittsfield; two granddaughters, Kayla of North Adams and Kendra (Arthur) Holland of Pittsfield; grandson Joshua (Jamie) Parent of Hoosick Falls, N.Y.; great-grandchildren Lily and Alexandra Parent of Hoosick Falls, N.Y.; and several nieces and nephews.
Calling hours for Chuck will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals West Chapels, 521 W. Main St., North Adams. His funeral will take place at 10 a.m. Friday at the funeral home. Burial will follow with military honors in Eastlawn Cemetery in Williamstown.
Our thoughts are with Chuck’s family and friends.