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James I. Gardner

Iowa City

James I. Gardner, 88, died Oct. 30, 2018, at Mercy Hospital Hospice due to complications of an illness.
Smart, kind, funny and compassionate, he will be greatly missed.
Jim, the son of Pearl Marguerite Larson and A. Royalton Gardner, was born Nov. 20, 1929. He grew up in Fairfield, Iowa. After graduating from Fairfield High School, he attended Parsons College. He was drafted into the U.S. Army; however, after serving briefly he received a medical discharge due to illness. He later attended the University of Iowa, where he completed his bachelor's degree. He was united in marriage to Carolyn Ruth Kallem in 1960 at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Grimes, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa Medical School in 1961. He was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.
Dr. Gardner interned at Philadelphia General Hospital from 1961 to 1962. Following internship, he was a general practitioner in Aurelia, Iowa, and Des Moines, Iowa for one year. He returned for a radiology residency at the University of Iowa from 1963 to 1966. He began practicing radiology at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City in 1966, retiring in July 1996. While at Mercy, he served as chief of radiology for 10 years and chief of staff of hospital as well as various other committees. Dr. Gardner was deeply involved in his community, volunteering with numerous community organizations. Jim and Lynn became members of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in 1962, where he has also served actively over the years. He became president of the Johnson County ARC in 1969, and with a group of parents, explored living opportunities for children and adults with developmental disabilities. In 1971, they incorporated Systems Unlimited Inc., a residential home for adults with developmental disabilities. Systems Unlimited has expanded until today where it provides supported housing and services for 1,100 children, adults and families in 45 cities and towns throughout Eastern Iowa.
Dr. Gardner is survived by his wife, Lynn; his children and spouses, Jennifer and Tom Van Winkle of Stonington, Conn., Steven Gardner of Iowa City, Kathryn Gardner and Dean Heistad of Leesburg, Va., and Peter and Jessica Gardner of Iowa City; and his loving grandchildren, Matthew and Katherine Van Winkle, Sophia Gardner Lodico, Elliott and Nathan Heistad, and Mason and Lucy Gardner.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Alecia Gardner Tolander; and his sister, Rose Marie Abbey. Jim's wit and sense of humor were evident to the very end. He lived life to the fullest. He enjoyed spending time with his family, his wonderful friends, as well as playing numerous sports: handball, pickleball, racquetball and tennis. In retirement he enjoyed spending every day possible on the golf course. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 123 E. Market St., Iowa City, with the Rev. Roger Dykstra officiating. Visitation will be Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service, Iowa City.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Systems Unlimited or Table to Table.
Online condolences may be sent to www.lensingfuneral.com.