James Monroe Gardner, 68, of Hermitage, died on July 6, 2015 at his home.

Mr. Gardner was born April 26, 1947 in Bradley County, and was the son of the late John T Gardner and Quinnie Thomason Gardner. He was also preceded in death by a wife, Carolyn Carr Gardner; a daughter Teresa Sutherland; a granddaughter, Tamara Gardner; a brother, Bryan Gardner; and sisters, Ruby Tully, Ola Jean Hlavarty and Polly Gardner.

He is survived by his wife, Deannie Gardner; six sons, James Robert Gardner and wife Tanya of Warren, John Gardner and wife, Susan of Melbourne, Arkansas, Michael Gardner and wife, Marsha of Warren, Andrew Gardner and wife Lorelei of Warren, Dennis Light and wife, Peggy of Warren, and Danny Light of Warren; daughters, Regina Lloyd and husband, Kenny of Monticello, Jaycee Benson of Hermitage, Mallory Benson of Hermitage, and Rose Dimm of Monahan’s, Texas; a brother, Bill Gardner of Hermitage; sisters, Myrtle Tillman of Warren and Florence Dickens of Benton; 21 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Gardner was born and raised in the Blue Springs Community, near Banks on his family’s farm. He moved to Warren in his teens where he played basketball. He was a faithful member of Landmark Missionary Baptist Church where he served as youth director, he was president of the Calhoun county riding club for numerous years, and served as a Bradley County Sheriff’s Deputy. He also served Bradley County as an EMT and a paramedic until his retirement in 2010 when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. After his retirement, he still volunteered with EASI as a paramedic and worked ballgames and public events for the company. He retired from EASI in 2010 as the supervisor for Bradley County, supervising numerous counties and employees. He was known by many as being kind and caring and was wonderful at his job.

Mr. Gardner also worked part-time for Frazer’s Funeral Home after his retirement. He held many roles throughout his lifetime. He served in Vietnam, where he received injuries that left him hospitalized in Germany for months away from his family.

After his retirement, Mr. Gardner also recertified in law enforcement and served on the Bradley County Sheriff’s Auxiliary and served as bailiff at the local and district court levels.

He had many stories to tell and has touched many lives and never met a stranger. He had many friends and acquaintances from his many years of public service. He attended Landmark Church in Hermitage, where every Wednesday night he picked up 10 to 20 children for service at Landmark and made sure they had refreshments, which was usually a meal. He didn’t miss often, and he took chemotherapy every Tuesday.

He was truly an inspiration to those who can find an excuse to not do the things for our church or youth that we know we should.

Funeral services will be held on July 9 at 2 p.m. at First Assembly of God Church. Burial will be at McFarland Cemetery by Frazer’s Funeral Home. Visitation is July 8 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Frazer’s Funeral Home in Warren.