Cover photo for Gardner Thompson Umbarger, III's Obituary
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1956 Gardner Thompson Umbarger, III 2023

Gardner Thompson Umbarger, III

December 21, 1956 — October 26, 2023

Marion, Virginia


Marion, Va.


Gardner T. Umbarger, III age 66, passed away Thursday, October 26, 2023 in Marion, Va.


Gardner was born in Homestead, Fl., the oldest of four boys. Childhood years were spent near Lexington, Va. He attended Washington & Lee (B.A. 1977), Lynchburg College (M.Ed. 1989), and University of Kansas (Ph.D. 2000). He married Lynne Judy at Quaker Memorial Presbyterian Church, Lynchburg, Va. in April 1992. Gardner was a loving father to Jonnie Dresdon and grandpa to Desi. He was a proud and decorated Army Medical Service Corps officer, serving before, during, and after the Gulf War; he was Honorably Discharged with the rank of Major. Gardner taught severely impaired students in the classroom before becoming a Professor of Special Education at Bowling Green State University (Ohio), and Saginaw Valley State University (MI). He served on the Boards of many agencies for special education and health policies in the U.S. and Southwest Virginia.


He was preceded in death by his father, Gardner T. Umbarger, Jr.; mother, Ann Sweeny; brothers, James Umbarger & Scott Umbarger.


Gardner is survived by his wife, Lynne Umbarger of Marion, Va.; daughter, Jonnie Dresden of St. Paul, Mn.; grandchild, Desi; brother, Eric Umbarger of Middlebrook, Va.; five nieces and nephews. Gardner is also loved and cherished by his numerous ZBT brothers.


Funeral services will be held Saturday, November 4, 2023 at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, 115 South Church Street, Marion VA 24354, with Reverend Dr. James Bennington officiating.


In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Washington & Lee University (204 W. Washington Street, Development Building, Lexington VA 24450); University of Kansas Endowment Fund directed to Special Education and BEACH Center (Gift Processing Dept. KU Endowment, PO Box 928, Lawrence KS 66044-0928); or Emory & Henry College directed to School of Health Science (Office of Advancement Emory & Henry College, PO Box 950, Emory VA 24327).


To share memories of Gardner T. Umbarger III, please visit Care for Gardner has been entrusted to Fraziers’ Seaver-Brown Funeral Service & Crematory, 237 East Main Street, Marion, VA 24354.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gardner Thompson Umbarger, III, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am

First United Methodist Church

115 S Church St, Marion, VA 24354

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