He was born on Sept. 22, 1954 in Estherville, to Wade and Imogene (Zenor) Gardner. He graduated from high school in Terril, and for several years he traveled around the United States working for many different newspapers as a mailer/operator. He moved to the Topeka area in the late 1970s and started working for the Topeka Capital-Journal in the mailroom. After 38 years of working for the newspaper, he recently retired in April 2012. Terry and Gayle were married on November 12, 1993 in Reno, NV. His nickname was Papa Terry because he made himself a grandpa for every child he knew. He loved to fish, he was a constant tinkerer, and he always seemed to be fixing something, whether it be for his own house or someone else's. He was a former member and trustee of the Teamsters Union #696, he served on the boards of the local AFLCIO and the KBT, and was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church in Terril.
Survivors include his wife, Gayle, Topeka, Kansas; three sons: Billy (Christina) Gardner and Randall (Rena) Dunn, both of Topeka, and John Kolodziej (Michelle Roberts) of Raleigh, N.C.; one daughter, Tamara Dunn (Tim Barber) of Topeka; five grandchildren: Kristian and Taisheona Barber, Tyler Gardner, and Randall and McKenna Dunn; two sisters: Karen (Robert) Hillman of Aitkin, Minn. and Patricia (Kevin) Byers of Topeka; three brothers: Bill and Scott Gardner of Sioux City, and Jim Gardner of Topeka; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Terry was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother, Dick Gardner.
Funeral ceremonies will be 1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 at the Penwell-Gabel Mid-Town Chapel, 1321 SW 10th Ave., Topeka.
Cremation will take place following the service. Terry will lie in state after 3 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 at the funeral home, where the family will receive friends from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to the organization of the donor's choice and left in care of the funeral home. To leave a message for the family online, please visit www.PenwellGabelTopeka.com.