March 14, 1969 - July 5, 2022


attachment-Matt Gardner

One of God’s special angels, Matthew “Matt” Gardner, age 53 of Elk River, MN, was called home on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. A kind, easy-going, bit of a jokester man, he brought light and happiness to everyone who knew him.

This truly amazing human being was born to George and Sharon (Koehne) Gardner on March 14, 1969, in Mankato. The family moved to Princeton when Matt was an infant, and he spent his growing up years here. He attended Princeton schools and was very active in Special Olympics. He loved traveling, the 80s rock band Motley Crue, action movies, car shows, motorcycles, bowling, football (college and professional), WWE wrestling (Sheamus!), NASCAR racing, the color yellow, and any sport or event his nieces and nephews chose to participate in. He had many jobs in the community and most recently worked for many years at Options, Inc. in Big Lake until COVID-19 hastened his “retirement.”

Matt will be welcomed into heaven by his mom and dad, George and Sharon Gardner; infant brother, Jonathan; grandparents, George and Mary Gardner and Carroll and Vi Koehne; infant grandniece, Lucy Jane Ternes; and all family and friends who have gone before him.

He is survived by his brothers and sisters, Niki Eisenbraun of Blaine, Jeff (Joy) Gardner of White Bear Lake, Becky (Jerry) Braun of Zimmerman, Susan (Scott) Nelson of Pease, Joseph (Jill) Gardner of Ham Lake, and Chris (Mary) Gardner of Monticello. Also missing him will be his many nieces and nephews; friends; and extended family.

Special thanks to his caregivers through the years, Dr. Gregory Schoen, Dr. Jamie Lohr, Sandy Shelton, and Kevin Heidelberger who knew him so well and cared for him as family.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at Christ Our Light Catholic Church, Princeton with Father Kevin Anderson officiating. Visitation will be from 4:00-8:00 PM on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, at Williams Dingmann Funeral Home and one hour prior to the Mass on Wednesday at the church. Interment will be in St. Edward Catholic Cemetery, Princeton. Luncheon will follow in the church hall.

Memorials are preferred to the American Heart Association, Special Olympics, or (Down Syndrome Association).