Axell C. Gardner, lifelong resident of Draketown, Washington Township, died Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at Edinboro Manor where he resided with his wife for the past month. Mr. Gardner was 87 years old, born in Draketown on June 18, 1925 to the late Kenneth C. and Elizabeth M. Sherwood Gardner. He married K. Audrey Robinson on March 24, 1945, and she survives.
Mr. Gardner and his wife operated a dairy farm in Draketown for 55 years before he retired. Often referred to as the “Mayor” of Draketown, Axell loved the country around Draketown, his farm, and the hard work that goes along with farming. After retiring, he continued to work by being employed at Klimek’s Auto and NAPA Auto Parts, both in Girard.
A lifelong member of Draketown Christian Church, Axell and his family provided the land for the church grounds and the cemetery expansion, and also constructed the church basement. As a citizen of the greater Edinboro community, he took great pride in knowing local Edinboro history and being able to recall important historical names and dates.
Axell made many friends over his lifetime, and seemed to know people wherever he went. He will be remembered as a gentle, kind and loving man.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two grandchildren– Craig Mitchell and Crysta Lee Gebadlo, and two nephews– Rex and Danny Woods.
Family members that survive include his wife of almost 68 years, K. Audrey Gardner; three daughters– Cheryl Mellin and Cathi Mitchell, both of Edinboro, and Lorel Swanson of Erie; four grandchildren– Kathleen Long, Stephanie Stafford, Anne Marie Cataldi, and Aaron Craig Gebadlo; 15 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild; a sister, Phyllis Woods and her husband Vere of Edinboro; two nephews– Wynn and Dean Woods; a sister-in-law, LaVern Best of Erie; a niece, Willetta Best; and his longtime friend, Marion Coburn, and the “Mayor’s Assistant”, Gary Showman.
Friends will be received by the family on Saturday morning at Draketown Christian Church from 10:00 a.m. until time of the funeral at 11:00 a.m. Pastor Ron Kennedy will officiate the services with the burial and committal service following at Draketown Cemetery.
The Gardner family requests that memorial donations be made to Draketown Christian Church, 12460 Draketown Road, Edinboro, PA 16412, or to the Humane Society of Northwestern PA, 2507 Zimmerly Road, Erie, PA 16506.