George Gardner, age 94, died peacefully at his home in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on April 30, 2019. His first wife, Marian (nee Shoemaker), died in 1987. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth V. Gardner and six children: David (Chaesuk) Gardner, Mary (Mark) Adams, Michael (Paula) Gardner, Nancy (Morris) Margolis, Jennifer (Gary) Dunn, and Jon (Lorna) Gardner, as well as 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was predeceased by his son Martin. He is also survived by a sister, Norma Wyerman, of Hollidaysburg, PA.
George Fisher Gardner was born in 1924 to George and Viola Gardner in Alexandria, PA and grew up in nearby Hollidaysburg. He joined the Army during World War II, serving with a military police battalion attached to the 4th Corps. While in the Army, he received electronics training at both the University of Pennsylvania and Manhattan College. After his military service, he returned to Penn State University and graduated in 1949 as an electrical engineer.
Mr. Gardner was a hard-working entrepreneur his entire life, regularly working 12-hour days well into his 70’s. He was employed briefly by Sylvania Electric Products in Seneca Falls, NY before venturing out on his own to found the Pennwire Television Company in 1951 in Lewistown, PA. Also, in 1951, Mr. Gardner formed one of the first cable industry product distribution companies—Television and Electronics Service Corporation—to sell equipment (designed by Gardner himself) for building and operating cable television systems. In 1962, he sold the Lewistown system and founded TV Cable of Waynesboro. That same year, he bought and began rebuilding the cable system in Carlisle, which he operated for more than 30 years.
Under the Raystay Company, which he formed in the 1970’s, Mr. Gardner became involved in other small cable systems. In the late 1990’s, Gardner sold Raystay and got out of the cable business, after which he purchased and ran several hotels.
Mr. Gardner was honored as a Founder by the Pennsylvania Cable Television Association and the Maryland, Delaware and District of Columbia Cable Television Association. He served as a member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Cable Television Association and as its president, treasurer, and secretary. He was an early member of the Cable TV Pioneers, an honorary society recognizing individual achievements in the cable television industry.
Mr. Gardner enjoyed boating and fishing in Florida and spending time in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. He was an avid private pilot and was part-owner and a director of the Carlisle Airport from the 1960’s to the 1990’s. He was active in the Carlisle Kiwanis Club. In the late 1980’s, Mr. Gardner’s keen interest in genealogy led to his involvement in the Cumberland County Historical Society, where he served on its board of directors and its technology, library, and buildings committees. A lifelong musician, he was first clarinet in the Penn State Blue Band in the late 1940’s and he played in local bands in both Carlisle and his winter home of Fort Lauderdale, FL. He and Elizabeth worshipped at the First United Church of Christ in Carlisle.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of the many charities George Gardner supported, such as the Carlisle Area Science Advisory Committee, Project SHARE or the Carlisle Band. In addition, donations may be made to the charity of your choice.
A Memorial Service will be held at the First United Church of Christ in Carlisle, PA on Sunday, June 16 followed by a private burial service.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hoffman Funeral Home and Crematory, 2020 West Trindle Road, Carlisle, PA 17013.
To sign the guestbook, please visit www.hoffmanfh.com.