Gardner's the old recorder mouse who taught Tiria how to read and write. He's a brother at Redwall Abbey. He has gray fur, blue eyes and a tall, muscular build. His chosen weapons are a sling and stones. He wears a blue tunic and matching kilt when he's not wearing a green habit.
This character will be based on a dear friend of mine I knew in real life, Gardner Hale Russell. He was a fellow member of my faith, one of the kindest men I ever knew. He returned Home on Monday, November 19, 2012.
I'm honored to have been counted among his friends.
Brother Gardner Hale Russell was born on August 12, 1920, to Harry and Agnes Russell in Salt Lake City, Utah. Gardner served for the U.S. Army, G-2, M.I.S. during World War 2 as Executive for Intelligence to the Military Attaches in the U.S. Embassies of Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Mexico. He was a successful entrepreneur and owner of several businesses while living in Puerto Rico for 20 years, and worked as a business consultant based in Florida from 1973 until the day he passed away.
Gardner co-owned and marketed Vu-Flow Filters. He was an advisor to several Boards of Directors and Trustees including Southern Virginia University, Institute of Management Consultants CMC, Presbyterian Hospital in Puerto Rico, F.I.T. Aviation, Florida Tech, and Synergy Environmental Company.
Gardner was Co-Founder of Inter-American University Law School and organized IAU Primary and Secondary Education Schools. He was Co-Organizer for Fundet training schools throughout Latin America. Active in local and national politics, Gardner was an elected member of the Brevard Republican Executive Committee and Brevard County Chairman for Paula Hawkins, Senator.
Gardner authored four books: "One Small Rough Stone" (Auto-Biography), "The Effective Entrepreneur and How to Make the Bad Guys Finish Last," "Timely Heroes," and "Fishing Cleanses the Soul."
He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many capacities including as a missionary in Argentina (1940-42), Mission President in Uruguay/Paraguay (1970-73), Bishop , Regional Representative, and served in Mexico and Central America in the Quorums of the Seventy as a General Authority. (1986-91).
Gardner will always be remembered as a man with a compassionate heart, an easy laugh, and a mischievous twinkle in his eye. As he said, "Life is all about service, everything else is just talk."