Bobby Joe Gardner, age 80 of Decatur Alabama, passed away Friday March 1, 2019. Bob is survived by his wife Alice, daughters Tracy Gardner and Lisa Koerlin (Don), granddaughters Emma and Amelia Koerlin. Bob was preceded in death by his parents Beulah and Alex Gardner, 5 brothers and 3 sisters.
Bob was born April 25, 1938 in Harriman, TN. After high school, he joined the Navy and served on the Aircraft Carrier Valley Forge. While enlisted, Bob was also stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. After his naval service, Bob worked for McDonnell Aircraft Corp. at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, during the time of the Original 7 Astronauts, supporting the early launches of Alan Shepard and John Glenn.
Bob was also employed by Pan Am World Services for 20 plus years. During this time he worked on the Down Range Tracking Ship Coastal Sentry, traveling to different ports to track the space launches from CCAFS. During his Pan Am days, Bob spent many years working at Patrick Air Force Base, FL as Superintendent of Down Range Employees and then with Computer Sciences Raytheon (CSR). He had fond memories of traveling to bases in Grand Bahama Islands, Eleuthera, Ascension Island, Mahe in the Seychelles, Antigua, and many other places. Bob retired from CSR in 2000.
Bob and Alice lived in Rockledge and Merritt Island, FL for many years before relocating to Decatur, AL to be near their daughters and families.
Bob was an avid golfer and spent many happy days golfing with his brothers and friends. Bob was a wonderful husband to Alice for 52 years, loving father, and a loyal friend to anyone who knew him.
Per Bob’s wishes no services are planned. His ashes will be interred at Roane Memorial Gardens, Rockwood, TN, at a later date.