Cover photo for Charles Gardiner's Obituary
Charles Gardiner Profile Photo
1944 Charles 2024

Charles Gardiner

May 14, 1944 — February 14, 2024


Charles Gardiner, of Ashburnham, Massachusetts, passed away on February 14, 2024, at the age of 79.

Charlie, as he was known to family and friends was born in Oceanside, NY, on May 14, 1944, and grew up in nearby Lynbrook, NY. He received a bachelor’s degree from Houghton College in Houghton, NY, and pursued graduate studies in English literature at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where he worked with Professor Roma King on a variorum edition of the works of Robert Browning, a poet of special interest to him. Charlie was a lifelong admirer and collector of antiques and made his first purchase of an antique at auction at the age of twelve. 

Primarily self-employed, he worked in the antiques trade, and also renovated and restored old houses. While living in Kansas for eleven years, he was active in the organic farming movement, as well as the food coop movement, and helped to organize a multi-state food coop organization. He also was artistic and musical. In the 1960s, he designed and produced a number of psychedelic silkscreen posters for a musical venue, The  Appalachian Lighthouse, in Athens, Ohio. He sang tenor in Houghton College’s touring choir and enjoyed playing the dulcimer. Other pursuits he enjoyed were gardening, hiking, and reading.

Charlie lived in several states but was most at home in Jamaica, VT, in the house and on the land handed down through his mother’s family for 130 years. Never winterized, it has gathered family and friends together each summer for over a century.

An only child, Charlie is survived by his wife of 54 years, Elaine Gardiner; two sons, Noah Gardiner of Columbia, SC, and Arne Rickert of Dundas, Ontario; and two grandchildren, Finn Brodie Rickert,13, and Ena Rose Gardiner, 8, as well as several cousins, including Mary Marchese of Harrisville, NH, with whom he was especially close. This summer, private services and interment will be held in Jamaica, VT.

Should anyone wish to make a memorial donation, the family suggests the non-profit Historical Piano Concerts in Ashburnham, MA. In addition to attending many of the concerts, Charlie assisted in moving dozens of the antique pianos to concert venues and served as webmaster for the collection for a number of years.

The Mack Funeral Home, 105 Central Street, Gardner, MA 01440, has been entrusted with Charlie's care. 

To leave an online condolence, please visit

Kevin J. Mack, Walter C. Taylor, and Melissa A. McQuaid, funeral directors.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles Gardiner, please visit our flower store.


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