Dr. Donald E. Gardner, 82, was born in 1931 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. On October 3, 2014, he died peacefully at home in Savannah GA after a major illness. On June 2, 1960, he married Elly Peter. Their four children, spouses, and six grandchildren gave them great happiness. They are Stephanie and husband Alexander Dochy and son Nicholas; Susan and husband Samuel Chavez and children Elliot and Devon; Stephen and wife Sabrina and their children Isabella, Peter, and Max; and Stuart. Elly’s brother, Kaspar Peter and wife Barbara and son Matthew are extended family.
Don enjoyed his career over fifty years in the field of toxicology which he later reflected “it was never work”. In 2001 he was inducted into the Outstanding Alumni Hall of Fame at Abraham Lincoln High School. He received a B.S. in Biology/Chemistry and an M.S. degree in Medical Microbiology from Creighton University, Omaha, NE where he later received the Outstanding Alumni Merit Award in 1980. In 1971 Don earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Health and Toxicology from the University of Cincinnati. His military career included positions at Fort Detrick, MD and Dugway, UT. He joined the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in 1964 and served the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Cincinnati and the Research Triangle Park, NC. He continued to work in research management at Northrop/Mantech until 1994, when he formed a consultancy, Inhalation Toxicology Associates. Don’s research generated over 250 scientific publications that greatly expanded the understanding of health risks of air pollutants.
In 1988, Don founded the Journal of Inhalation Toxicology where he remained the Editor in Chief for more than 25 years until he retired last month. His stature in the field made the journal a great success and established an international focal point for inhalation toxicology. Don’s career achievements have been officially recognized by many scientific bodies including EPA, Academy of Toxicological Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, Society of Toxicology, NASA (Outstanding Public Service Award), U.S. Surgeon General’s Award, and U. S. Public Health Service. His leadership in many panels of the National Academy of Sciences resulted in his designation as a Lifetime National Associate Member of the National Academy of Sciences.
In recognition of his many years of service to Rotary International, Don was named a Paul Harris Fellow. His friendship and mentorship changed the lives of those around him. His family remembers his enjoyment of an occasional cigar on the dock at the lake, listening to live Cuban music, and golf cart rides to the marina. Those of us who knew Don weep at our loss, laugh with our remembrances, and reflect deeply on how much he meant to us. He made the world a healthier and happier place.
Memorial contributions are welcome to the Rev. William F. Kelley Endowed Scholarship at Creighton University, Omaha, NE. Memorial service will be held at 1:00 on Tuesday, October 7th at St. Peter’s Church on Skidaway Island, GA.