Jesse Claude Gardner Jr., of Madisonville, Louisiana passed away on Sunday, September 10th, 2023 at the age of 52 years old. Jay's journey began on May 6, 1971, in Picayune, Mississippi, where he was born to proud parents Jesse Claude Gardner Sr. and Ruthie Mae Rogers Gardner.
Jesse has left behind loving Wife of 23 years Michelle Noto Gardner, Children Samuel Blaine (Tina) Gardner and Ian Joseph Gardner; Mother Ruthie Mae Gardner; his sibling Ruth Ann (Joe) Damare’, Billy (Ashley) Gardner, and Casey (Janie) Gardner, Brother-in-law Christian Nixon.
Jesse is preceded in death by his father and namesake Jesse Claude Gardner Sr. and Brother-in-law Michael J. Noto.
Jesse was so much more than what can be put into words. He was a man who loved God, his wife, children, and family with all that he had and his word meant something. He worked hard to provide for his family, making sure his children especially never wanted for anything, while keeping them humble and kind. Jesse never missed baseball, football, or basketball games nor any school functions that involved either of his two boys. He was simply a proud Dad who loved them greatly.
His interests were diverse: fishing (crappie), hunting (deer, rabbit and squirrel), coaching baseball, race cars, art and drawing, and studying and teaching the word of God. Jesse loved training his two border collies, Jaxon and Gunner, as well as spoiling his “little girl” Lizzie Beth, his precious shih tzu. Time spent with his eleven nieces and nephews and ten great-nieces and nephews gave Jesse great joy. If they were involved in sports or church plays, he made every effort to attend. His love for them was beyond measure.
Having coached recreational baseball and All-Star teams at Coquille and Covington, the game and the players became a large part of his life for many years. Jesse looked for the undiscovered greatness in each child, both on and off the field. He wanted them to believe in themselves as much as he believed in them. These players are young men now and many still call him “Coach.” It was an honor for him to earn that title and their respect. During the Covid pandemic, Jesse discovered a hidden talent he never knew he had – drawing. Pencil sketches evolved into detailed drawings and Biblical imagery. It was during this time that Jesse gave his life to the Lord. Jesse has since pursued God and his Word. His understanding and the knowledge he gained was astounding and life-changing for him and anyone he could share the Word with. Over the past three years, he poured time and prayers over many young men and women that loving call him “Uncle Jay.”
Jesse was not only a devoted family man but a devoted employee. He worked for Kostmayer Construction for over 27 years. In that time, he formed long-lasting friendships which became more of a family than work associates. His work family has been just as devoted to him during this time and the Gardner family is very grateful and appreciative of Kostmayer’s generosity. To his friends and family, know he loved each and every one of you. Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Jay's loss will be deeply felt by all who knew him. His kindness, generosity, and unwavering dedication to his loved ones will forever be cherished. He will be remembered not only as a master mechanic but also as a loving husband, devoted father, and loyal friend.
Though our hearts are heavy with grief, let us take comfort in the memories we shared with Jay. May he rest in peace, knowing that his legacy lives on in the hearts of those he touched.
A Memorial Service will be held on September 16, 2023, at Bagnell & Son Funeral Home 75212 Lee Rd (Hwy 437) Covington, LA 70435. The visitation will begin at 1:00 PM and conclude at 3:00 PM and a memorial service will be held from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Friends, family, and acquaintances are invited to attend the event to pay their respects and celebrate Jay's extraordinary life.