the key west citizenSeptember 8, 2018


Richard Ward Gardner, 61, of Big Pine Key, Florida passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. Richard was born on Dec. 21, 1956 at Monroe General Hospital. He was affectionately known as Rick/Ricky to family and friends. Rick was a third-generation Conch and a direct descendant of Theophilus and Melinda Stirrup from the Bahamas.

Rick graduated from Key West High School Class of 1974 with honors. At the time of his death, he had been employed as the Operations Manager of Key West High School Auditorium for more than 16 years.

Rick is survived by his beloved wife and soulmate of 31 years, Chrissy; sons Brian (Janna) Ocala, Florida, Timothy (Brianna) Orlando, Florida, Cory Key West, Eric (Melissa) Horizon City, Texas, Darrol (Holly) Killeen, Texas; Grandchildren: twins, Maple and Logan, Ocala, Florida, Cyler, Brenna and Darrol Jr. Killeen, Texas, Andrew and Melinda Horizon City, Texas; mother Alvania (Ali) Singleton Morales, Orlando, Uncle John (Dianne) Gardner Murphy, North Carolina and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial will be held at his beloved KWHS Auditorium on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m.

After the memorial, there will be a gathering in the courtyard adjacent to the auditorium to celebrate his extraordinary life. A special thank you to the Key West High School staff, Culinary Department and Jazz Band for their participation in this memorial.

The family sincerely thanks all who have rendered their condolences and assistance during this difficult time.