Gardner, Dallas 1926 – 2008

Dallas Gardner


   This was a man of incredible accomplishments. I knew of Dallas Gardner as we both attended Zion Methodist Church. However, I have known his children better than I knew Dallas. To have such well-accomplished children says much about their parents. For those of you not familiar with the Gardners, son Randy is a local state representative, son Mike a teacher and coach, son Gary a teacher, principal and superintendent, daughter Connie (Rutherford) a teacher and guidance counselor, and I do not know daughters Pat, Sandy (Karmol), and Linda (Hammer).  – Sally Predmore

   Dallas Gardner was born to Jasper Owen Gardner (1896 – 1954) and Melba Geneive Orn (1905 – 1983). He was born in Nappanee, Indiana on August 14th, 1926.  Dallas spent almost three years on a Navy Destroyer as a torpedo man. He had tours in the Atlantic and South Pacific.

Just after getting out of the service in 1946 Dallas went to Ashland College. He earned degrees from Ashland and Ohio State Universities.  Dallas was married 9 Jul 1949 to Velma Brownson. They became the parents of seven children as follows; Mike, Randy, Gary, Pat, Sandy, Linda and Connie. His first teaching assignment was for Whetstone Schools in Bucyrus, OH. His assignment included teaching, coaching and driving bus. At the young age of 24 in his second year at Bucyrus, Dallas was appointed to the position of Superintendent of Crawford County Schools. By 1954, Dallas had moved to Wood County and was the Principal of Luckey Schools. Dallas became Superintendent of Luckey Schools beginning in 1958, and then Superintendent of Eastwood Schools. It was during his term of office that Luckey joined with Pemberville, Dowling and Webster to form Eastwood Schools. Dallas remained the Superintendent of Eastwood Schools, Wood County, OH until 1970 when he became the Superintendent of Wood County Schools and served until 1991. Gardner is also well known for restructuring the Wood county Office of Education into a service center for area schools, for combining resources and personnel for the most effective delivery of educational services and for creating gathering places for groups of teachers and school leaders to share problems and ideas. He is also known as being a well-know leader in the state and is the only superintendent in Ohio to have served as president of both the Buckey Assoc. Of School Administrators (BASA and the Ohio County Superintendent’s Assoc.


Dallas has held many distinguishing titles including;

  1.  – First President of Buckeye Assoc. Of School Administrators (BASA), exemplary leadership award from BASA
  2.  – First President of N. W. OH Educational Television Foundation
  3.  – President of OH County Superintendents Assoc.
  4.  – Member of the State Advisory Council on Special Ed.
  5.  – Member of the Wood Co. Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
  6.  – Member of the Owens Community College Board
  7.  – Member of the Executive Committee of the National Assoc. Of Intermediate School Districts

Dallas always had a passion for golf. He also played and lettered in baseball, tennis and basketball at Ashland College. Throughout his life Dallas golfed as often as he could. He golfed in 47 states, most of the provinces of Canada and St. Andrews Scotland. He enjoyed passing his love of sports to his children and watching his children and grandchildren participate in sports. Dallas continued to be active in the Eastwood community; he was an active member of the Zion Methodist Church in Luckey and the football announcer for Eastwood Eagles until the end of the 2005 season. Dallas has certainly passed on his passion for sports and civil service to his children and grandchildren. His descendants have earned such titles as follows; teacher, counselor, coach, superintendent, OH state representative, and PGA Pro Golfer. He passed away on December 12, 2008.