He entered Princeton from The Hill School and joined Key and Seal. His Princeton career was interrupted by service with the 7th Army. Before returning to college to receive a degree in psychology in 1948, Gardiner had served in both Germany and the Philippines.
Gardiner earned a graduate degree at the University of Alabama and went to work in personnel for state governments in Alabama, Florida, and North Carolina. He always was active in his community, the Presbyterian Church, and in civic clubs.
In 1964 he married Barbara Thompson Church, and thereby acquired three stepdaughters, all of whom survive him. The class expresses its sympathy to the family.