James Leonard “Len” Gardner

June 24, 1935 - September 24, 2020

James Leonard “Len” Gardner, age 85, of Wilmington, DE, passed away on Thursday, September 24, 2020.

Born in Wilmington, DE on June 24, 1935, he was the son of the late Leonard Swartz and Mary (Hicks) Gardner. Len proudly served in the U.S. Army Reserve. He worked as the proprietor of Rockford Exxon on Lovering Avenue for over 20 years. Len then owned and operated J & L 5 & Dime at the Boothwyn, PA Farmers Market with his wife for 20 years. In his spare time, he enjoyed watching westerns, boating and cheering on his beloved Philadelphia Eagles. Len was an excellent story teller and he was great at negotiating car deals. His favorite cars were his Corvette and BMW. He enjoyed visiting Crystal Beach Manor in Earleville, MD. Len loved his dogs and spending time with his family, but most of all, his beloved Janet.

In addition to his parents, Len was preceded in death by his wife, Janet (Hurd) Gardner; son, Scott Gardner; and sister, June Adkins. He is survived by his children, John Gardner (Charlene) of Fort Wayne, IN and Glen Gardner (Allison) of Wilmington; sister, Kay Hughes of Rehoboth Beach; and grandchildren, Curtis, Shawna, Patrick, Ben, Ronnie, Keaton, Christian and Logan.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 1 pm until 2:30 pm on Saturday, October 3, 2020, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 North DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE, where a memorial service will begin at 2:30 pm. Interment will follow in Lombardy Cemetery, Wilmington, DE. Facemasks will be required for all in attendance.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Len’s memory to Faithful Friends, 12 Germay Drive, Wilmington, DE 19804.


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10 Condolences for James Leonard “Len” Gardner

  • Len was a kind soul. I was lucky to know him.

  • Safe passage to meet up with Janet again. Two really special people. Angelo’s

  • John, Glen and families,
    I was so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. I have fond memories of your Mom and Dad that go back before you were born. Both when we loved in Delaware and as we spent time with our boats on the Bay. They were good friends. Sincere sympathy.. Laurie Phillips

  • Len was a great guy and a fun boss. I worked with him for about 3 or 4 years and he gave me my first job at the J&L 5×10 and occasionally assisted with ice deliveries. Both Janet and Len were so kind to me over the years. I remember how he used to talk about the Eagles and his favorite firework the pegasus. I had some truly great memories working there and sitting next to Len all day Saturdays each weekend. He was much like a father in the stories and advice he would share. I love you both Janet and Len, you will be missed.

    -Mark Gleason

  • I’m so sorry about your loss…. he was so liked. We’ve known each other for approx. 40 years and have been neighbors for 24 of them. I would have been there for him and family at his service, but I too, suffered a loss of my sister and will be down in North Carolina from Wednesday til Sunday. Cheryl and I want to extend our deepest SYMPATHY to one and all. One day, I’ll meet up with Len up there in heaven and we’ll attend some more car shows.

  • He was One Of A Kind!!!
    Just a Great Great Man and Friend!
    I will miss talking football with you down at the Ice House!
    RIP Lenny!!!
    -Rob Hudson

  • Deepest Condolences to Glenn, John and families. Uncle Leonard was a fun guy with a great sense of humor. He will be deeply missed by all.

  • Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with yours in this difficult time. I remember Len so fondly during the several years i worked with him, Janet, Scott, and Glen at Rockford Exxon. He was a kind person and a hard worker who instilled those values in his children. His license plate was GINVU; and we did! Rest in peace Len.

  • Len was a good person. In the short time I got to know him I fell in love with his beautiful spirit. I was lucky to have met him. Rest easy Len.

  • To the family of Len Gardner
    I met Len MANY years ago when he was coming to the Delaware Hospital School of Nursing courting Janet. 1960. Many years passed and I reconnected with Len and Janet at their store at Boothwyn. I looked forward to those visits always enjoying long conversations with alot of laughs. Len was surely a good guy and Janet made it a complete duo.
    My sincere condolences to the family..