Don Gardiner, founder of Gardiner Realty (later Royal LePage Gardiner Realty) and Gardiner Properties in Fredericton, N.B., died on April 7. He was 79.
A September 2000 story in REM says: “Don Gardiner never got around to completing his university business degree, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a successful businessman. But he still finds time to engage in a host of volunteer activities. So many, in fact, that he recently received one of Canada’s highest honours for that work.”
That was the Order of Canada. He also received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
His obituary says, “Don rose from humble beginnings in Table Head where he grew up to become one of the most successful independent businessmen in the real estate industry of the Maritimes.”
The family firm, now known as the Gardiner Group of Companies, marks its 50th anniversary in 2019. Operating out of five real estate offices, the firm also ran Gardiner Properties, through which it owns subdivisions, shopping centres (in Bible Hill, N.S. and Cornwall, P.E.I.), warehouses and land for future development. Don also operated a business consulting and investment division where he was behind a number of large deals in Halifax.
“Don was a true Maritime businessman fully committed to giving something back to the community. Seeing the ravages of lung disease first hand in Cape Breton, Don volunteered, over a 12-year period, with the Canadian Lung Association and served as national president in 1991-92. He also served on the Board of Directors for the QEII Hospital for 10 years. In 1989, Don established the Gardiner Medical Research Foundation to encourage excellence in research activities related to inflammatory arthritis and other autoimmune rheumatic diseases.
He was also the former president of the Canadian branch of FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation.
“His most recent passion project was a $140-million privately funded 20,000-seat stadium in HRM which would host a new Canadian Football League team.”
He leaves Alice, his wife of 56 years, who worked with him at Gardiner Realty as a broker. He also leaves two daughters and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Gardiner Medical Research Trust Fund, QEII Foundation, in honour of Don would be appreciated by the family.