Albert was born on Nov. 12, 1928, in Marmaduke, Ark., to Omar and Edna Sutton Gardner Rowe.
In May of 1948, he married his sweetheart and love of his life, Johnnie Frances Eades, of Kennett.
After completing high school at Marmaduke, Albert attended the College of Watchmaking at Memphis, Tenn., and in Kansas City, Mo. Albert worked at Collins Jewelry Store in Kennett, Paragould Jewelry Store in Arkansas and owned a jewelry store in Campbell, Mo. He entered Abilene Christian University and later Freed Hardeman University where he graduated earning a degree in Biblical Studies. Albert completed his Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Nebraska in Omaha, and later earned his Masters of Missions from Luther Rice Seminary.
Albert made the decision early on in his life to serve the Lord. He first started sharing the gospel at the Bakerville Church of Christ, east of Kennett, and ended his 62 years of service also with the Bakerville congregation. Albert served as a full time pulpit minister throughout several congregations both state side and in the foreign mission fields of Ghana, West Africa, South Africa, Belarus and in India, where he made over 20 trips sharing God's word. Albert was instrumental in setting up several Schools of Preaching in India.
Albert produced a radio program on KCRV and had radio programs in the local media nearly everywhere he worked. Albert held revival meetings in countless locations over his preaching career and was always ready to share the Gospel of Christ at every opportunity.
Albert had the opportunity to share God's Word through his writings for the Gospel Advocate, the Firm Foundation, and other publications. Albert was also a prolific author, having written over 22 published books, plus numerous religious pamphlets with each of these books also being translated into several India languages to be used in the India Mission field.
Albert became acquainted with Ham Radio while in the mission field and was an avid Ham Radio operator for over 50 years, holding an Extra Class license. Talking on the radio each morning was a part of his daily routine.
Albert is survived by Frances Gardner. He and Frances have five children, William Albert Gardner, Jr., and wife, Lynn, of Nashville, Tenn., Timothy Paul Gardner and wife, Karen, of Cleburne, Texas, Michael Wayne Gardner and wife, Brenda, of Ringgold, Ga., David Alan Gardner and wife, Lorri, of Searcy, Ark., and Sheri Ann Musgrave and husband, David, of Milford, Ohio. He has 13 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. Albert is survived by one sibling, E. Claude Gardner, of Henderson, Tenn.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Lockhart and the nursing staff at Twin Rivers Hospital in Kennett, to Dr. Sheridan for providing friendship and medical care, and to the staff of the VNA Hospice for their kind touches and the excellent care provided. The family appreciates the many friends and families who visited, prayed, brought food and shared memories in person and on Facebook, as well as the congregations of Bakerville Church of Christ and Slicer Street Church of Christ.
Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 17, at the McDaniel Funeral Home in Kennett.
Funeral services will be conducted by Spencer Furby at the Slicer Street Church of Christ in Kennett, Saturday, Aug. 18, at 11 a.m.
Albert will be laid to rest in the Memorial Gardens Cemetery at Kennett.
Pallbearers will be grandsons, Paul Musgrave and Dale Hollis, and friends, Michael Blankenship, Weston Blankenship, Ryne Branum and Ethan Mergentime.
Honorary pallbearers are grandsons, John Musgrave, Nicholas Gardner, Seth Gardner, Shane Gardner and Chance Hogg, and elders from Bakerville Church of Christ, Jeff Wade, Floyd Owen and Bill Blankenship.
In Lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Slicer Street Church of Christ India Mission Fund, 310 Slicer St., Kennett, Mo. 63857.