Joseph Gardiner


Rev. Dr. Joseph Rowe Gardiner, Moline, was joyfully received into his heavenly home on July 1, 2020, following complications of Multiple System Atrophy, a rare neurological disorder.

A private service will be held at Christ United Methodist Church, East Moline.  Burial will be at Memorial Park Cemetery, Rock Island.  A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date.  Memorials may be made to Christ United Methodist Church, 3901 7th St., East Moline, IL 61244.  Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, Moline, is assisting the family with arrangements.  The service will be live streamed starting at 10 am Saturday, July 11, 2020 found at 

“Dr. Joe,” as he was lovingly known by many, was born to Arthur W. Gardiner, Sr., and Virginia (Rowe) Gardiner in Detroit, MI.  The family moved to Williamsburg, VA when Joe was four and where he spent a happy childhood before heading off to college.

Joe graduated with a B.A. from Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA followed by receiving his M.Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary at American University in Washington, D.C.  Later, he was awarded an M.A. in Clinical Psychology and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of North Texas, Denton.  He was also a Licensed Psychologist in Georgia and Iowa and a member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.

Joe, a devoted pastor known for his compassion and teaching of the Bible, touched countless lives through his ministry in Maryland, Texas, Georgia, Iowa, and Illinois.  His ministry also focused on helping others as a Pastoral Counselor/Psychologist.  He retired in 2015 following 12 years as Pastor of Care at Christ United Methodist Church.  The church honored him with the title of “Pastor Emeritus.”

Joe married the former Cathy Barker on May 9, 1981 at First United Methodist Church (now Two Rivers UMC), Rock Island.  Together, throughout their 39 years of marriage, they were a team in life and ministry.  They enjoyed extensive travel, especially in Europe, and spoiling their dogs, Mollie, and Jenny, over the years.  Joe loved bicycling, jogging and good conversations.  He studied extensively and followed a diet of good nutrition.

Survivors include his beloved wife, Cathy, brother, Art Gardiner, Cookeville, TN, sister, Pam Gardiner (Lyle Geurts), Missoula, MT, brother-in-law, Larry Barker (Stephanie), Aldie, VA, four nieces, three nephews and many great-nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, in-laws, Stan and Hazel Barker, sisters-in-law Nancy Gardiner and Susan Barker Jenson.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Amber Ridge Assisted Living for their extraordinary care.

“Well Done Good and Faithful Servant!”

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