Charles Harwood Gardner, 74, died at Socace Center, Asheville on September 22 after a very short illness with metastic melanoma. He is survived by two sons, Charles H. Gardner, Jr of Saratoga, NY and Heath Davis Gardner of Raleigh, NC, and by his sister, Bonnie Gardner Barnes of Lake Junaluska, NC. Charles is also suvived by two granddaughters, Madeline and Courtney Gardner, a grandson , Caleb Purvee, and a step-daughter, Catherine Hall of Charlotte and her daughters Caroline and Sara. Hall. Charles was preceded in death by a brother, William B. Gardner of Knoxville, Tn.
Born on June 19, 1937 in Greensboro, Ga. of Methodist minister father, William H. and mother Katherine B. Gardner, Charles grew up in Georgia and graduated from Gainesville, Ga. High School in 1955. He went on to earn his B.S. Degree from Emory University and his M.S. In Geology, also from Emory.
His career included several years with Law Engineering Firm in Florida, and many years in Raleigh with the Department of Natural Resources. He served at NC State Geologist from 1990-2002 and Head of the Division of Land Resources for the state. Upon his retirement in 2002 Charles was awarded the “Order Of the Long-Leaf Pine”, by the Governor.
Charles was responsible for the State Geological Survey and Geodedic Survey. He was President of the American Association of State Geologists and of the American Association of State Dam Safety Officials.
Charles held certification by the NC Supreme Court as a Mediator for cases in the state Superior Courts. He took great satisfaction in the fact that many of the scores of the mediated cases he dealt with were preempted or resolved.
In retirement Charles collaborated with the friends at the Asheville office of the NC Geological Survey
He enjoyed many interesting pasttimes. He was an avid gardener, fly fisherman, bee-keeper, and world traveler. He recently visited the Galapagos Islands, and in the last few years he explored India and Southeast Asia. Charles also loved music and entertained family and friends accompanying, with guitar, his son Chuck, a star banjo player.
Charles was affiliated with the Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting where he had many friends whose faithful attendance to him in his illness is greatly appreciated. A service of remembrance will be held on Sunday, September 25 at the Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting, 137 Central Ave., Black Mountain, NC at 3:00 p.m.
Charles wanted said of him: “He stood in awe of the beauty of nature”