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Martin Paul Gardner
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Obituary for Martin Paul Gardner

Martin Paul Gardner, 79, fell asleep in the Lord on Saturday, July 29, 2017.
Martin was born on March 17, 1938, in Tucumcari, New Mexico. During his youth, his family relocated to Douglas, Arizona. The only son, it was there that he was raised by his parents, Paul Kenneth Gardner and Joyce Evelyn Gardner, along with his three sisters. His father was a railway worker, while his mother was a homemaker. Martin lost his father at the age of 16 years old. He helped to support his mother and sisters by working at a gas station, delivering newspapers and performing with his musical quartet.
Martin enlisted in the Air Force in 1957. His first assignment was to Hraklion, Crete, Greece, where he met the former Ekaterini “Katy” Stavari, of Alikarnassos, Crete, in 1958. They were married on December 21st of that same year. This year would have marked their 59th wedding anniversary.
Soon after marrying Katy, Martin so loved the beauty and mystery of the Greek Orthodox church, that he was Chrismated into the faith. He embraced the customs, traditions, language and zest for life that comes along with being an honorary Greek. Katy’s entire family embraced him and loved him from the very beginning as one of their own.
The remainder of his Air Force career afforded Martin, Katy and their two girls, Maria and Sonya, to travel the world. Among his favorite tours of duty, he and his family were blessed to have experienced the joy of living in Germany, Panama Canal Zone, and Italy. Almost every summer, he would take his family to visit their relatives in Hraklion and Thessaloniki, Greece.
In 1978, Martin was assigned to the Pentagon and settled down to make a wonderful home in North Springfield, Virginia. After 28 years of active duty, Martin retired from the Air Force. In 1986, he began working for SAIC, retiring in 2001.
Those who knew Martin well knew that he was a very talented musician with a beautiful tenor voice. In his younger days, he sang with a barbershop quartet and loved to play his guitar. The house was always filled with the sound of Martin playing his guitar and leading the family in song. He was very handy, a jack of all trades. He loved to tinker with and repair small electrical appliances and cars. He was also an avid coin collector. He will be remembered as a generous man, a philanthropist with a caring and compassionate heart, prepared to drop everything to come to someone’s aid. To the very end, he was extremely patriotic and proud of his contribution to his country.
In addition to his loving wife, Katy, Martin is survived by his daughters, Maria Gardner Chelpon (married to Deacon Harry Chelpon), Sonya Gardner (married to Lise Hvas); his grandchildren Mikhail, Ekaterina (married to George Tjoumas) and Maya; and his sister Page. He is predeceased by his sisters Hope and Darlene.
A viewing will be held from 10 to 11 am, Thursday, August 3, 2017. The Funeral Service begins at 11 am. Both the viewing and the funeral will be held at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church, 3149 Glen Carlyn Road, Falls Church, VA 22041.
The burial will take place at National Memorial Park, 7482 Lee Highway, Section L, Falls Church, VA 22042,

In lieu of flowers, the family requests
memorial donations be made to:
St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church
3149 Glen Carlyn Road
Falls Church, VA 22041
OR
Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church
Building Fund
21580 Atlantic Boulevard
Bldg D, unit 160
Dulles, VA 20166


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Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

3

Aug

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church

3149 Glen Carlyn Road
Falls Church, Virginia 22041

Service

Thursday

3

Aug

11:00 AM
Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church

3149 Glen Carlyn Road
Falls Church, Virginia 22041

cemetery

Thursday

3

Aug

12:45 PM
National Memorial Park Cemetery

7400 Lee Highway
Falls Church, VA 22046

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