MARYLAND – Henry F. Gardner, a World War II veteran and pioneer in the development of prosthetic devices, passed away at Bassett Hospital on March 28, 2016, with his family by his side.
Hank was born April 9, 1919, in Stephenson , Mich., to Michael and Alice Naden Gardner.
Following High School graduation at Kingsford, Mich., he joined the Army Transport Service Marine Division. A graduate of the Marine Officer Academy in 1942, he served as an engineering officer on board the H-11 in the Pacific and the E.B. Alexander in the North Atlantic.
After World War II, he joined the Veterans Administration as a prosthetics technician and attended New York University where he received a degree, majoring bio-mechanics.
As a technical assistant to the director of the state Veterans Administration, he coordinated research and development program with the National Academy of Science, NYU, UCLA and the Northwestern University. Here he developed and patented numerous prosthetic devices, advanced prosthetic design to new technical and scientific levels which changed the prosthetics concept from exoskeleton to endoskeleton design.
Lecturing and teaching the use of these new techniques in workshop seminars, he traveled worldwide, often on loan to the State Department, World Health Organization and the United Nations.
A founder and fourth president to the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists he held the Number “1” certification internationally.
Upon retirement he moved to Upstate New York. The outdoors was his passion and he loved walking in the woods, bird watching, hunting and above all fly fishing. He became an expert and avid fly fisherman and handcrafted his own rods and flies to take fishing along the Delaware and East Branch rivers.
He is survived by his wife, Jean Gardner of 35 years. She was his loving and blessed caretaker for the five years prior to his passing. A son, Henry Jr., daughter-in-law Carol and grandson Darrin. A brother, Gene Gardner and sister Donna Freidman. Step-children Pamela Sparaco and husband John, Frank Kruh and wife Kathy, Jack Kruh and wife Patty and Steve Kruh. Grandchildren Cassandra Tripp, Ryan Miller and wife Gregory , Mark Miller and wife Kitt, Jessica Dulkis and husband Evan and Adam Kruh. Great-grandchildren; Elizabeth Miller, Spencer Miller, Beck Miller, James Henry Miller and Parker Miller.
He was a loving family man who was always there to lend a helping hand and offer kind words of wisdom and advice. We marveled at his resilient tenacity for life. Hank was deeply loved by his family and will remain forever in their hearts.
He is predeceased by his father and mother, sisters Alice and Joan and brothers; Wilfred, Carl, Joseph, Bernard, William and Charles.
Respecting Hank’s wishes, there will be no formal ceremony or funeral. He will be cremated and rest in the Maryland, NY cemetery.
To send online condolences visit: www.ottmanfuneralhome.com
Arrangements were entrusted to the Ottman Funeral Home , Cherry Valley.