Max Alton Gardner, 86, of Florence, passed away on Friday, July 5, 2019.Max was born and raised in a family of 13 in the Flat Creek community of Lancaster Co., SC. He was the son of the late Mayo and Frank Gardner. He first attended Wingate Junior College and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1958. He served in the US Army during the Korean War and later was employed as a claims representative with Wausau Insurance Company for 37 years. He has been a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church since May 1961 where he served as deacon, Sunday school teacher, RA leader, and in many other capacities.Max loved his family and his friends and very strongly believed in helping those in need. He also loved his alma mater The University of South Carolina and was an avid sports fan. He especially loved traveling; eventually covering every state. He has traveled to many countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Dexter Gardner; brothers, Mendel Gardner and Frank Gardner, Jr.; sisters, Elease Small, Nettie Mae Fountain, Sarah McMackin, Virginia Douglass, Marion Newsom, and Laney Lucas.He is survived by his beloved wife Maree of 63 years; his daughter, Cindy (George "Buck") Schnibben; grandsons, Jonathan (April), David (Alix), and Thomas Schnibben; three great-grandchildren, McKinney, Maxton, and Josephine Schnibben; brothers, Randall (Libby) Gardner of North Litchfield Beach and Doug (Harriet) Gardner of Lancaster; sisters, Sybil Smith of Mount Pleasant and Frankie Phillips of Flat Creek; special nephews, Wayne (Rhonda) McMackin of Lancaster and Phillip McMackin of Supply, NC; special niece, Connie (Jimmy) Norton and their daughters, Greer and Abbie.Memorials may be made to Ebenezer Baptist Church, 524 S. Ebenezer Road, Florence, SC 29501.The family will receive friends from 1 2 pm Monday, July 8, 2019 at Ebenezer Baptist Church with the service to follow in the old sanctuary at 2:00 pm. Burial will take place in the church cemetery directed by Stoudenmire-Dowling Funeral Home. Please send messages to the family at the obit section of www.stoudenmiredowling.com.

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