Hilton Sonny Gardner

June 29, 1933 - May 22, 2018


Hilton Guy "Sonny" Gardner loving husband and beloved father, age 84, of Salt Lake City, Utah passed away peacefully on May 22, 2018 after a long battle with dementia. 

Hilton "Sonny" was born in Worchester, Massachusetts to Guy and Olive Pippen Gardner on June 29, 1933. He married Naomi Fawn Echols on September 10, 1955. They were married 63 years. He was a veteran of the Korean War and served in the Army. 

He was a loving, giving, and kind-hearted man with a wonderful sense of humor who was truly devoted to his family and friends. He loved sailing and little league baseball. He was a mentor and role model and served as president of the Western Boys Baseball Association where he was involved for decades. The Sonny Gardner Baseball Field was named in his honor. He touched and changed many lives. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Katherine (Ronald) Santor, and his beloved son, Doug Ryan Gardner. 

He survived by his wife Naomi Gardner;  two daughters Shauna (Andy) Leonard, Debbie (Steven) Marks; granddaughter Olivia Leonard; sister Claudia (Harb) Thomasean; brothers Martin Gardner and Warren (Sue) Gardner; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and lifelong friends. 

He continued his remarkable spirit of giving and humanity by donating his body to the University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy, to further research, education, and scientific discovery, primarily with dementia. 

A celebration of his life will be held on Monday, June 4, 2018 from 6 to 8 PM at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City, Utah. Guests are encouraged to use the complimentary valet parking provided on the north side of the building. 

In lieu of flowers donations may be given in memory of Hilton "Sonny" Gardner to the Dementia Society of America by mail to PO Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901 or online https://www.dementiasociety.org/donate.