John W. Gardner, 97, a long-time resident of Montclair and Verona, died June 15, 2018 following a brief illness.

Following graduation from Immaculate Conception High School, Mr. Gardner served in World War II as a bomber pilot and retired from the United States Air Force Reserve as lieutenant colonel.

Mr. Gardner was the longest serving member of the Montclair Fire Department. He was the recipient of many valor awards and retired as fire chief.

He was predeceased by his wife Patricia and his son Paul K. Gardner. He is survived by his daughter Barbara P. Foran, his sons Steven J., and John W. Jr. and daughters Shelia C. Marshall and Rita T. Gardner. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

Visitation was held on Tuesday, June 19 at Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home in Montclair. A funeral was held at the funeral home on Wednesday, June 20. A Mass of Christian burial followed at Saint Theresa of Calcutta Parish, The Immaculate Conception Church in Montclair. Interment was at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in East Hanover.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the John W. Gardner Scholarship Fund at Immaculate Conception High School, The Montclair FMBA #20 or the Verona Rescue Squad.