NAVARRE, OHIO — David A. Gardner, chief executive officer of Alfred Nickles Bakery, Inc., died Nov. 11 following a brief illness. He was 70 years old.
A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University in 1971, Mr. Gardner served in the U.S. Air Force for two years during the Vietnam War.
He joined Nickles on a part-time basis in 1967 and full time in 1971. The business was established in Navarre south of Akron, Ohio, in 1909 as the Navarre Bakery and Ice Cream Company by his grandfather, Alfred Nickles, a Swiss immigrant. Mr. Gardner became president and c.e.o. in 1999, succeeding his father, David E. Gardner, who had held the position since 1980, and Ernest Nickles, who was c.e.o. from 1949 until 1980. David A. Gardner served on the Nickles Bakery board of directors for 26 years and was chairman of the Long Co. Independent Bakers’ Cooperative for 20 years.
Mr. Gardner is survived by his wife Susie (Rinehart) of 48 years; children Christian (Missy) of Akron, and Molly Burba (Andre) of Armonk, N.Y.; and five grandchildren, Anderson, Juliet, Ivy, Wes and Will David.
A celebration of Mr. Gardner’s life will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, at Christ Presbyterian Church, 530 Tuscarawas St. W., Canton, Ohio. Calling hours will be conducted prior to the service from 9:30 to 11:15 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Jackson School for the Arts at Jackson High School or to the Jackson High School Athletic Department, 7600 Fulton Drive N.W., Massillon, Ohio, 44646; or to Christ Presbyterian Church.