Donald Parks Gardiner
Donald Parks Gardiner
  • January 14, 1933 - September 1, 2017
  • Columbia, South Carolina

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COLUMBIA - Donald Parks Gardiner, affectionately known as “Dah,” 84, passed away peacefully on September 1, 2017. Born on January 14, 1933, in Atlanta, GA, he was the son of the late Anderson and Lois Gardiner.

He attended Grady High School in Atlanta, GA. An avid athlete, he was named to the State of Georgia All-Star team for football and basketball. He went on to play football at Auburn University and thereafter the University of Wyoming. While at Auburn, he was named Captain his freshman year. He was then called into the service where he served in the Military Police. He ultimately came back to Georgia to complete his football career at South Georgia College, where he met his beloved wife of 51 years, Mary Ann Durrence. In 1959, the couple moved to Columbia, SC where he pursued his career as an Insurance Adjuster with T.M. Mayfield and Company, lasting 38 years. Don was an active member of the Blue Goose Fraternal Organization.

Don was the ultimate family man. He valued nothing more than spending time with his 5 children and grandchildren at the family farm in Chapin, SC. Many weekends were spent fishing, hunting, grilling, gardening or just telling exaggerated old football and Georgia stories! Don was a lifetime member of North Trenholm Baptist Church, where he enjoyed coaching Little League baseball for many years.

For those who had the privilege to know him, Don would be defined as one of the finest men they knew, kind- hearted and a wonderful storyteller.

He is survived by his children, David (Mena), Charlie (Christina), Mark (Stephanie), Lee (Jennifer), and Nancy Riley (Ted) and grandchildren – Parks, Christopher, Rachel, Alex, Chapman, Anna Maria, Maryann, Will, Lilly, Drew, Dowling, Charlie and Becca. Don is also survived by his sister, Bonnie and her husband, Dr. Grady Campbell of Dublin, GA and also survived his brother, James of Lawrenceville, GA and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, September 5th from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the home of David and Mena Gardiner at 5000 Courtney Road. A private graveside service for Don will be held at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of one’s choice. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family. Please sign the online guestbook at