William Major Gardner of Lexington, KY, passed away Sunday, May 10, 2020 at his residence, at the age of 77 years, 1 month, and 9 days. He was born Thursday, April 1, 1943 at West Liberty, KY, son of the late Henry Lowell Gardner & Sally Pelfrey Gardner Scragg.
Bill was united in marriage to Leah Karen Oldfield on January 12, 1991. He was a Christian and a member of the West Liberty United Methodist Church. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
A graduate of Morgan County High School, Bill attended Morehead State University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Health Education, and obtained his teaching certification. Bill later accepted a position with the state Cabinet for Human Resources as a facility surveyor, working his way up the ranks. Bill’s hard work and commitment was recognized when he was appointed the Cabinet’s Inspector General by Gov. Martha Layne Collins, responsible for overseeing the state’s hundreds of health care facilities, nursing homes, ambulances and child day care centers, ensuring they operated safely and in compliance with state and federal regulations. His office was also responsible for facility audits and special investigations. Bill worked for the Cabinet until he retired in 1998, serving in the administrations of several governors. Bill’s dedication to his work earned him the respect of his staff statewide, as well and the facilities that he regulated.
Following retirement, Bill enjoyed spending time at home with Karen and his family, and Bill’s love of golf prompted Karen to take up the clubs as well. They often played in tournaments together, spending many beautiful days on the golf course.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Doris Oldfield.
He is survived by his loving wife of 29 years, Leah Karen Oldfield Gardner; four children, Shannon & Mike Anson of Louisville, KY, Ashley & Josh Weiland of Crestwood, KY, Adam Gardner of Louisville, KY, and Anna & Kurt Wilbert of Celina, TN; six grandchildren, Callie Jo Anson, Will Weiland, Luke Weiland, Myla Gardner, Major Wilbert, and Henry Wilbert; two sisters, Nancy Kinghorn of Honolulu, HI and Sara Mays of Las Vegas, NV; two brothers, Henry “Hank” & Jacki Gardner and AB & Billi Scragg all of Apopka, FL; his father-in-law, Frank Oldfield of Mize, KY; and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Due to the COVID-19 requirements set forth by Governor Andy Beshear, a private memorial service will be held Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at the Old Grassy Christian Church.
Memorial Donations are suggested to: Bluegrass Care Navigators, 1733 Harrodsburg RD, Lexington, KY 40504 or Best Friends Adult Day Center, 5220 Grey Oak Lane, Nicholasville, KY 40356.
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