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Robert Gardiner

In Loving Memory

Gardiner, Sr. Robert Anthony

June 29, 1958 - June 13, 2023

Robert Anthony Gardiner, Sr, was born June 29, 1958.. He was born under the sign of the crab, and though that doesn’t do his generous side justice, one has to admit that was a shoe that could, on occasion, fit. But more than his crabbiness, his story is one of optimism and generosity.

He was the fifth and middle child of Patricia and Bruce Gardiner. He has always loved his eight siblings deeply, and while we know he did not want to be the first of them to leave, we also know that he is lucky to be the first one reunited with his parents.

He loved growing up in a big family. He was a bit reluctant to tell us some of the stories of his childhood, but we can imagine he enjoyed a good time then as much as he did as an adult. If New Year’s Eve is any indicator, the man probably enjoyed his Fireball! We know that he loved being a part of his big family growing up with his brothers, sisters and cousins. Like us, he grew up with his maternal grandmother. When she died, that was the first time we saw my dad cry those famed Scheve tears.

At 14 he began working at my grandpa’s store, Mr. Chip’s produce market, a decision he could not have known at the time would lead to so many of the people who are mourning today. Our parent’s story is one we heard so many times as children: my dad was standing around on his shift, smoking a cigarette. In walks my mom, then Cathe Cipponeri,  – and he drops the cigarette and puts it right out and jumps on the counter. After dating for a while, he asked Cathe to go steady. She told him he was nuts, instead of going steady they should get married. And so, in 1978, they did.

Together, our parents had 8 children – Katie (Sean) Beach, Gianni (Tim) Gardiner, Maggie (Manny) Gardiner-Bonsu, Robby (Lindsay) Gardiner, Nickole Gardiner, Joee (Vikash) Singh, Anthony Gardiner, and Mary (Steven) Roach. He has 19 grandchildren: Emma Beach, Will Beach, George Frank, Henry Beach, Phrankie Frank, Elizabeth Beach, Heidi Frank, Nola Frank, Annie Gardiner, Milo Rogers, Emmanuelle Sade Bonsu, Darwin Frank, Scout Rogers, Remi Bonsu, Rory Gardiner, Charlotte Catherine Roach, Lily Gardiner, Veera Vikash Singh, Sebastian Roach.

Rob and his beloved Cathe were married for 45 years. They have countless memories of living with our maternal grandparents, John and Catherine Cipponeri. Our dad had many laughs with our Grandpa, and he looked after our grandmother as closely as he looked after our mother.

Our dad was someone who showed his love by taking care of you. Every decision he made was to take care of our family. He worked long, late shifts when we were little, but if you were lucky enough to stay up late, you would get to enjoy middle of the night fast food with our parents. He could be an introverted extrovert – he never met a stranger, and knew intimate details about the lives of every gas station attendant or store clerk within five miles of our home. Once, while at the gas station, a store clerk experienced a personal emergency, so my dad stepped in, ringing out customers for an hour, until another employee could be reached. And yet, the man never washed a dish that we could see!

He often surprised us by knowing people everywhere. He worked as a warehouseman for Schnucks market for his entire career, and was a member of the Teamster Brotherhood Local 688.  Doing good out in the world was important to him – he believed in fairness, good pay for good work, and giving people help when it was needed. He believed in the goodness of other people, and he taught us to have faith that others want the world to be as good as he thought it was. He valued hard work, integrity, and loyalty.

There was no one he was more loyal to than our mother. At home, he preferred to let her control the joyful chaos of life with eight children. His preference was to find a quiet place to sit with his puzzles, or sports. He loved the New York Times crossword puzzle, only from the paper – he was never convinced to use the app – and it must be done in ink. If you wanted to talk with him, you might want to wait until Jeopardy came on – in between shouting out answers together, on commercial breaks, you could sneak in some questions of your own – especially if you wanted to know the best route to take on a road trip, or just directions generally. He had opinions about everything, from politics to what to eat, and he could be very strong in stating those. He was always fair minded and open when it came to the big things.

He chose a life that was full of love. He chose to work hard, and not only reap the benefits by pay those forward, as often as he could. He would do anything for my mother, or any one of us, or any of the people that we loved – he would have done anything for all of you.

He loved all of you so very much. It’s unbelievable that he isn’t here to hug us and help us through this loss. He wasn’t ready to leave us, but he deserved to make the choice to be at peace. We will leave you with the words he would share with us if he was here- Take care of each other, especially your mother. Don’t fight. And most importantly, if you don’t have fun, it’s your own fault!

Services; Visitation at KUTIS AFFTON Chapel 10151 Gravois, Thursday June 15 3:00-9:00 PM, with funeral service Friday June 16 at 9:00 AM.


14 thoughts on “Gardiner, Sr. Robert Anthony”

  1. A wonderful life, a wonderful man. Always extended his fatherly love to those of us who were extensions of his children. I am blessed to have known him.

  2. Robbie was a good friend of mine
    We were shop stewards together and on neotigiating comittees together . We were always close and always did things together. Will miss my buddy and praying for his family. God bless the entire gardiner family

  3. I worked with Robbie at Schnucks. If you needed help Robbie was there to help. A true Gentleman.
    To Robbie Family, I am so sorry for your loss God bless.

  4. Our sincere condolences to the entire Gardiner family. We are so sorry for your loss. Much love to you Gianni and your family.
    Steve, Judy, and Aaron

  5. Many memories of Robbie .He was great to work with . A true friend. If you needed advise he was there to give it. I will truly miss him . Prayers for the family .

  6. Truly one of the coolest guys I’ve ever known, had the privilege of working with him for over thirty years, always talked about his family, he was so proud of all you guys. I know that all of his coworkers along with myself are very grateful for the time we spent together and will miss him dearly. Hang in there Gardiner family

  7. Prayers for the entire family✝️. Robbie was a wonderful person and I’m glad to say I worked with him. He will be missed. RIP my old friend…….

  8. Matt and I send love your way. We are so sorry for the loss of your sweet father, husband, grandfather. He was a gem. So kind, loving and friendly. Your family has always been a part of my life and I cherish our friendship. God love your father and God love your sweet family. He is at peace now.

  9. Rob and I work together for a long time. A good brother, a good person, he love working overtime [smile]
    I was chief shop steward and Rob was always supportive, wanted to know what can he do to help. When I retired Rob, for the first 10 years always keep up with me, he loved his family, that is the one subject he would have something to say about at anytime.
    God have placed a lot of good people in my life, Rob was one of them, be proud family Rob have fought a good fight and have finished his course. God Bless.

  10. I don’t count many people as true friends, but I counted RG as one. I have suffered a loss just like a lot of others. Rob was a family man. I aways respected that. I will miss him.

  11. I had the good fortune to work with Robbie for many years at Schnucks. Quite the character he was, a fine family man & gentleman as well. My condolences to the family.

  12. I worked with Robbie, I debated with Robbie, I laughed with Robbie and I loved him like a brother.

    Rest in Peace Brother…….

  13. My thoughts and prayer with the family! May the Lord give you all space to grieve, space to laugh, and space to feel the way they need to feel.

    My condolences to this family and we are thinking of you all.

    Rest in Heaven.


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