Dwayne E. Gardner

May 05, 1927 ‒ October 18, 2018

Delaware, Ohio

Dwayne E. Gardner, 91, of Delaware, passed away on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at the Sara Moore Home in Delaware, following an extended illness.

Born May 5, 1927 in Max, Nebraska to the late Richard A. and Mary (Weigel) Gardner, Dwayne grew up on his family’s farm in Max and graduated from Max High School, and then went on to graduate from the University of Nebraska, having received a B.S. Degree in Social Studies and Science, M.A. Degree in School Administration, a D. Ed. In School Administration and then his Post Doctoral in American University Planning.  While attending college, Dwayne was in and completed the R.O.T.C. program, and then upon finishing college, joined and entered the U.S. Army at the rank of Captain, serving during the Korean Conflict.  After serving his country, Dwayne became a Consultant for School Plant Services and then a Director in Surplus Property Distribution for the Nebraska State Department of Education from 1954-1962.  He then worked as an Educational Consultant and Survey Specialist for the North Carolina Dept. of Public Instruction from 1962-1965.  He then went on to become Manager and Specialist in the U.S. Office of Education in Washington, D.C., where he was also Program Manager for Comprehensive Educational Planning, Chief Program Management Branch BESE, Acting Assistant Director for Division of State Agency Cooperation and Specialist for Comprehensive Educational Planning and Planning Educational Facilities from 1965-1968.  Dwayne was an Adjunct Professor at the Ohio State University and was Executive Director for the Council of Educational Facility Planners, International (CEFPI) from 1968-1992.  He was an instructor for Eastern Michigan Univerity in 1986, University of Toledo in 1991, University of Ashland in 1993 and Bowling Green State University in 1992 and 1993.  In 1986, he started a business, Planning Advocates, Inc., in which he owned and operated for many years.  During his working years, Dwayne received numerous honors, such as, Arkansas Traveler from the State of Arkansas, Kentucky Colonel from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Honorary AIA (American Institute of Architects) and Planner of the Year, CEFPI’s most prestigious annual award.  He also prepared numerous papers, reports and studies that are the result of research and surveys dealing with educational planning.  He was the author or co-author of numerous publications that deal primarily with planning in school insurance, educational planning, facilities for early childhood programs, educational specifications and facilities for elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher learning. Dwayne loved his vegetable garden, working in his yard, picking berries, cooking and every year he would make salsa and jam and would always give it away.  He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, and was very proud of all of his accomplishments in the educational field.  He had been a volunteer at the Delaware Farmer’s Market for many years and had been on the Board of Director’s for SourcePoint.  Dwayne was always known as being the one willing to help people.

Surviving is his beloved wife of 46 years, Loretta C. (Thomas) Gardner, whom he married August 19, 1972; daughters, Mellany Kelly (Parnell) of Delaware, Susan Widaski of Waco, Texas and Stanya Ellis-Doty (David) of Ft. Collins, Colorado; son, Timothy (Laura) Gardner of Waco, Texas; four grandchildren, Everett Sharp of Delaware, Izabella Kelly of Delaware, Tyler Doty of Los Angeles, California and Nathan Doty of Ft. Collins, Colorado; sisters, Donna Pursley of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Gweneth Ritchie of Lincoln, Nebraska. In addition to his parents that have preceded him in death is his son, Mark Gardner and his brother and sister-in-law, Kenneth and Phyllis McGrath Gardner.

A Celebration of Dwayne’s Life will be held on November 4, 2018 from 2-6 p.m., at the Trotter’s Landing Community Room, 1 Trotter’s Circle, Delaware, Ohio.

Memorial contributions may be given to SourcePoint , Mainstreet  Delaware or Sara Moore Home.

  • I was so sad to hear of Mr. Gardners passing. I have so many fond memories of him and his family especially when our daughters were in school together. My love and prayers go out to all of his family.

  • Our thoughts and prayers for Dwayne’s family. We met Dwayne through the Main Street Delaware Farmers Market. It was always wonderful to see his smiling face and share in conversation. He was indeed a very special person who we fondly remember. So glad to have known him.

  • My sincere condolences. I will always cherish the fond memories we had on Klondike Road. Keeping you all in my heart and prayers. Much love~ April

  • One of the truly great educational visionary leaders. Always easygoing and kind, but always honest with insight into what is best for others. There was no better educational planner!
    Rest in peace Noble warrior. Condolences to his family.

  • God bless the family of Dr. Dwayne Gardner and those celebrating his life! He was an internationally recognized ambassador and advocate for the very best education environment that could be designed for students. His values of civility and effective dialogue were very important personally and professionally. He was one of my favorite university class professors, a mentor and strong influence on me as an educational leader. His was a life well lived and admired.