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William F. Gardner
April 12, 1937 ~ July 29, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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William Francis Gardner, 86, of Leominster, passed away on July 29, 2023 after a recent illness.
William was born on April 12, 1937 to Loring and Eunice (Huston) Gardner in Leominster. He was a 1955 graduate of Leominster High School.
After graduation, he worked as a route supervisor for Tri-Sum Potato Chip Company for 34 years. He also worked multiple part time jobs at Bourbeau’s Market, and as a local bartender for Forty’s (his Godfather’s business), 616 Lounge, Nano’s Restaurant, and in his retirement years the Knights of Columbus. He was an auctioneer for his family’s antique business and a union steward for the AFLCIO. Additionally, he was a local youth coach for Pop Warner Football.
Bill married his wife, Rita D’Innocenzo in 1960, and they celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary on May 21st. Together they had three children, six grandchildren and are expecting a great grandchild. Billy loved spending all his free time with his family and cherished trips to Cape Cod and Wells Beach, ME. He hosted Christmas Eve celebrations for family and friends for many years. Bill was passionate about the game of bocci and participated in many trips to Rome, New York for the World Series of Bocci. His team advanced to the Sunday finals on many occasions. He was an avid outdoorsman who spent his falls in the woods of New England hunting and his summers fishing at Lake Ontario with family and friends. Bill was active as a member of the Leominster Sportsmen Association for much of his life. Fridays were special for Bill in that he got to play cards with his friends at the Knights of Columbus. Billy and Rita loved to dance, and were a couple to watch on the dancefloor, always the first ones out there and the last ones to leave.
He is survived by his wife Rita and their three children, daughter Diane and her husband Brian Milewski of Methuen, daughter Lori and her husband Don Wyman of Leominster, son John and his wife Leanne of Ashburnham; six grandchildren, Mac Milewski of Lowell, Whitney Milewski of Haverhill, Rebecca, and Brooklyn Gardner of Ashburnham, Joe Wyman of Leominster, David Wyman and his wife Kenia of Fitchburg. He also leaves behind two brothers; Richard Gardner and his wife Marcia of Leominster, James Gardner and his wife Joyce of North Carolina; three brother-in-law’s, James D’Innocenzo and his wife Mary (both predeceased), Louis D’Innocenzo and his wife Judy (predeceased), Michael D’Innocenzo and his wife Jackie, and a sister-in-law Eva (D’Innocenzo) D’Onfro and her husband Albert D’Onfro (predeceased). Additionally, he leaves behind several nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be held Thursday, August 3rd at Richardson Funeral Home, 106 West St. in Leominster from 5-7 p.m. The funeral will be held Friday, August 4th, at Saint Anna’s Church, 199 Lancaster St., Leominster at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Saint Leo Cemetery in Leominster. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Saint Anna’s Church.