Rudolph William Gardner

August 17, 1935 ~ August 25, 2021 (age 86)


Rudolph William Gardner

August 17, 1935 - August 25, 2021


Passed away peacefully at the age of 86, after a year-long battle with congestive heart failure.  


The middle child of Joseph and Lillian Kinigadner, Rudy was predeceased by his brothers Joseph (Elaine) and Karl (Beverley) and is survived by Carol Ann, his wife of 61 years, and his stepsister Ingrid Williams (Woody).


Rudy met the love of his life, Carol Ann Fee, at a summer dance in 1952. Rudy’s thick-rimmed glasses, his tall, handsome stature and his Irish Regiment of Canada uniform kilt and army boots, were too much to resist. Their courtship and eventual marriage led to their proudest joys:  their sons, Michael and Andrew (Lynne), followed by their grandchildren Mackenzie, Carson, Scarlett and Ewan. When describing his family Rudy would say that “his cup runneth over.”


Spending time with the family was a deep passion for Rudy. He maintained his position as a quiet force within his family and circle of friends, always eager to get together but happy to sit and watch the action. Quality, not quantity, was his mantra when contributing to a conversation.


The Gardners spent many summers at their cottage on Lake Simcoe, enjoyed family trips, ski adventures and epic Christmas parties with each year promising “the best tree ever.” An ideal party for Rudy included a perfectly cooked steak and a big, bold red wine – and he never failed to keep the glasses topped up. He worked on perfecting his grilling skills over decades, undaunted by the harsh critiques of his dear sons who affectionately named him “the Barbeque-tioner.”


His successful career as a lawyer was founded upon his endless curiosity and appreciation of facts. As a partner in the law firm of Fasken Martineau Walker, Rudy specialized in corporate real estate law and was a trusted advisor to many multinational corporations until his retirement in 1997. He was a stickler when it came to grammar. It perplexed him when people didn’t pay attention to their punctuation and he warned against the danger of a misplaced comma, which could wreak havoc on the meaning of a sentence!


Rudy was a voracious reader. He enjoyed a good mystery and gravitated to books detailing world events, particularly World Wars I and II. When it came to books on those topics, he had read them… probably twice. He was an endless source of knowledge, regularly consulted by many for his expertise as a lawyer, his cottage plumbing ‘techniques’ and his razor-sharp ability to simplify the complex.


Rudy had a love-hate relationship with the game of golf, which continued into his 85th year. The occasional lesson could not get him off his back foot but the golf gods granted him enough good shots, in any given round, to keep him coming back for more abuse. He is now reunited with his lifelong friend, John Stephenson, on a course where every drive hits the fairway and there’s no such thing as a 3-putt.


Rudy will be greatly missed by his family and friends in Toronto and Collingwood, where he and Carol Ann have lived for the past 17 years.


In recognition of the times, the Gardner family will postpone holding a Celebration of Life.  We ask that you raise a glass with your own family to celebrate Rudy’s life. In lieu of flowers, we would be grateful if you considered supporting Collingwood General & Marine Hospital.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rudolph, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Rudolph

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