« Introducing the Benchmarks Blog | Main

In memory of Al Gardner, our "Resident Banker" and dear friend, 1916-2007

Al Gardner Albert James Gardner, Jr. former Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of Equitable Bancorporation, in Baltimore, Maryland, died of congestive heart failure at Howard County General Hospital on December 8, 2007. The Ellicott City resident was 91 years old.

Mr. Gardner was born in Baltimore, and he was a 1934 graduate of the Forest Park High School. A Certified Public Accountant, Al was also educated at Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore College of Commerce.

Under Al’s direction, Equitable became one of the first banks in the country to use an automated system to integrate ledger records. During his tenure at Equitable, Al also served as a Director of Service Center, Inc., a credit card accounting and processing operation. It provided the first successful data transmission service which offered daily account settlement.

Prior to joining Equitable in 1960, Al was Assistant Vice President of Gunther Brewing Company in Baltimore. He was a director of both San Jacinto Chemical Corporation, and Fleischman Manufacturing Corporation. Mr. Gardner was also a former Controller of the Lansdowne Distillery in Baltimore, Maryland.

In 1971, after Equitable helped capitalize the young firm of Olson Research, Al became Chairman of the Board. When Al retired from Equitable in December, 1982, he began serving as the full time “resident banker” on the staff of Olson Research, as well as being a member of the board of directors. Until recently, Mr. Gardner continued to work part time for Olson Research.

The community has also benefited from Al’s time and expertise. He was a former Chairman of the Maryland Division of the American Cancer Society, and Treasurer for St. John’s Episcopal Church in Howard County, Maryland. He had also served as a former Director and President of the Baltimore Chapter of the Financial Executives Institute, and was a past president of the Ellicott City Kiwanis Club. He was also a director of the Friends Medical Science Research Center in Catonsville, Maryland, and he served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Robert H. Smith School of Business Foundation at the University of Maryland from 1980 to 1995. Mr. Gardner was also a 32 degree member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, and a member of the Supreme Forest of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon of North America.

Mr. Gardner enjoyed traveling, photography, gardening, electronics, and computers. He was a communicant of St. John’s Episcopal Church, 9120 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, Maryland, where a memorial service will be held at 11a.m. on Saturday, December 15th.

Surviving are his wife of 67 years, the former Gladys Craig, his daughter, Marjorie Gardner, and his nephew, Milbourn Craig.