Michael A. Gardner
Michael A. Gardner, 45, Lake Mills, died unexpectedly Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in Albert Lea, Minn. A memorial service for Mike will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 7, at Salem Lutheran Church, Lake Mills, with Pastor Joel Guttormson officiating. Inurnment will be in the Woodbury Cemetery, rural Lyle, Minn. Visitation will be Wednesday, Oct. 6, at Schott Funeral Homes-Mittelstadt Chapel, Lake Mills, from 4-7 p.m. and will continue one hour prior to the service at Salem on Thursday.
Michael Alan Gardner was born Dec. 18, 1975, in Rochester, MN to parents Charles and Dianne (Fahje) Gardner. He was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Rochester, MN. The family moved to Lake Mills in 1978. Michael was confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church in Lake Mills. Mike attended school and graduated from Lake Mills High School in 1994. During school, he was a four-sport athlete participating in football, basketball, track and baseball. He was also very active with both band and chorus. Mike also worked at the Corner Stop and at the Lake Mills pool during high school.
Following graduation, from 1994-1997, Mike attended Waldorf, Forest City, where he studied communications, worked at the Waldorf radio station, and was employed by the Forest City YMCA.
After Waldorf, Mike moved around and worked as a bouncer and security guard at many businesses in Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Hawaii, and California, but it didn’t take long for Mike to realize he was a very skilled salesperson. He moved back to the Midwest in 2014, and he could sell anything to anybody.
His hobbies included photography, attending concerts, re-purposing or salvaging items to sell, and he was both a Minnesota Vikings fan and a Chicago Bears fan (unless the Bears played the Vikings, then he was all blue and orange).
Through the years, Michael had his issues with mental illness and drug addiction, attending rehabilitation facilities more than once, but he could not break free from his struggles.
He will be greatly missed by his family, parents, Charles and Dianne Gardner, Lake Mills; sister Laura Gardner, Lake Mills; brother, Brett (Rachel) Gardner, Andover, Minn; niece, Phynley, and nephew, Edison Gardner; aunts and uncles: Marjorie Nelson, Carol (William) Hanson, Sandra Anderson and Cindy (Frank) Postic; as well as numerous cousins and friends.
Mike was preceded in death by his grandparents: Bernhard and Irene Fahje; and Otho and Bernelda Gardner; and two uncles: Roger Nelson and Dennis Fahje.