Bob (Pop) Gardner died at home in Katama on March 31 after a brief illness. He was 93.

Although he was frustrated at the physical limitations of his aging body over the past decade, he was proud to be, as he put it, in his “94th year,” and the longest-lived member of his original West Roxbury family.

He grew up in the Boston area, the youngest son of Charles and Mary Ryan Gardner. Though he appreciated Boston, he loved the Island from boyhood, when his maternal grandparents purchased a home in Oak Bluffs, near the Ocean View. Bob’s best memories were of early summer when he and his parents would relocate to the Vineyard for the season. He spent his days diving at the town pier with Ara Barmakian and Raymond Scott, and worked setting pins at the bowling alley at night.

He married island native Ida (Buzzy) Goodwin and they lived in Boston for a decade. With their children Bob, Pam and Gail, they returned to Martha’s Vineyard and the elder Bob built the Katama ranch that would be the family home for more than 50 years. He worked for several Island builders before going out on his own in the 1970s. He loved what he did each day. He could proudly identify hundreds of Island buildings that he personally constructed or contributed to over his career. He was particularly proud that his houses were well made and fair priced.

His greatest joy was raising his kids on the Island he loved. He attended every game, concert and horse show without complaint. In summers, he and his kids dove off the Big Bridge or Oak Bluffs pier, rode bikes to the Paper Store for penny candy, shagged fly balls and attended band concerts with snacks from Darling’s Popcorn. Winters meant tobogganing and pond skating. He was part of the original crew of hockey players to build a small rink for pickup games.

In 1985, he joined the Edgartown Golf Club Night Crawlers and began a 25-year love affair with the game. Though at one time he was a full member of the club, he preferred his fellow Night Crawlers and had a tight-knit group (Ted Morgan, Dick McCarron, Marty Mard and Sherm Burnham) who loved to get out there, encourage and rib each other, and solidify their lifelong friendships. Bob was the last of the Night Crawlers and missed them all terribly as each died. He left golf balls with their initials at their gravesites in tribute.

Bob loved music. Family members will always associate him with big band music, swing tunes and the timeless classics of Jerry Vale and Frank Sinatra.

He was an Island institution regularly seen at Reliable Market, Your Market, Katama Airport and the Katama boat landing. When walking became difficult, he exercised pain-free on his bicycle and became a fixture on the Katama bike paths. When he stopped biking at 91 years old, he had ridden more than 20,000 miles.

His family is very grateful to everyone who cared for him recently, particularly Dr. Gerald Yukevich and Dr. Michael Michotek.

Buzzy predeceased him in 2004 but he is survived by son Bob and his partner Meg Archer in Ohio, and daughters Pam and her husband Phil Fleisher of Beverly, and Gail and her husband Don Casey of Martha’s Vineyard. He also leaves behind grandchildren Abby and Gwen Gardner, Evie Fleisher, Riley and Amelia Craig and Kiana Casey, as well as nieces and nephews, their children and their grandchildren.

At his request, a formal service will not be held. Arrangements are under the care of Chapman Funerals and Cremations; please visit for online guestbook and more information.

Memorial donations can be made to Sandy Paws Rescue, P.O. Box 1772, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or online