Mr Stephen Keith Gardner, 9 July 1958 – 26 June 2022
Today, Kingswood mourns the loss of and celebrates the life of Mr Steve Gardner (OK 1976), who died peacefully this weekend with his family by his side.
Born in Port Alfred, Steve attended Kingswood as a school boy and was a proud member of the Class of 1976. Steve joined the Kingswood staff in January 2006 as Bursar (later Business Manager) until his well-earned retirement at the end of 2020.
Steve’s contribution to Kingswood was immense and under his astute guidance, Kingswood flourished and grew. He managed a complex and critical portfolio for the College: financial resources, infrastructural development and human resources. He was a strong leader, who inspired certainty and purpose. His dry sense of humour coupled with his frank and forthright manner were legendary and made him a key part of the College management team.
Beyond the school gates, Steve was awarded the Southern African Bursars of Independent School Association (SABISA) Ubungcweti Award in 2017, in recognition of his work by his peers nationally.
Over the years, Steve made an enormous contribution to the various capital development projects of Kingswood. He has led over nine major construction projects namely, the City Lords Project (construction of the Hockey Astroturf, Rugby field and Graeme Beck pavilion); the reconstruction of the Hugh Stocks swimming pool complex; the Cohen teaching block; the High-Performance Centre; the Head’s residence in Frances Street; the Jagger Houseperson’s flat and, more recently, the construction of Hobson House.
Always finding time to serve his school, Steve also played an instrumental role in having all of Kingswood’s precious archives digitised in 2016 – over 4,700 photographic prints, paintings and building plans are now preserved online. Thanks to his foresight, Kingswood’s heritage is protected and is more accessible than ever.
What an incredible legacy to leave us with.
“It is difficult to summarise the impact of Steve’s presence in my life,” says Mrs Soné Griesel, Bursar at Kingswood. “He was one of the wisest and most caring people I have ever met. Steve was the ultimate gentleman, whether it be in the office, on the golf course or to his family and friends. He always had an ear to listen, a kind word to give and wisdom to share. His caring nature made him a great friend and mentor, a wonderful father, husband and son to his family.”
Steve’s passion for Kingswood was shared with his passions for sailing and golf, especially at his home club, The Royal Port Alfred Golf Club. In 2021, the OK Club honoured Steve by naming the trophy for the Champion OK Golfer at the annual Port Alfred Golf Day, the Steve Gardner Trophy.
There is so much more that can be said about Steve’s contribution to the College, but for now, we pause to remember the man behind it all and celebrate his life.
For Mrs Griesel, his love of sailing, a slice of lemon meringue pie and the Port Alfred Golf Course will always bring him to mind. “He made everyone feel that their opinion mattered, and he inspired other people to become leaders in their field. My thoughts are with Kim, Kelly, Michael, Ashley and Gift during this time. The world is poorer for Steve not being in it”.
Our condolences to his wife Kim and their children Kelly, Ashley, Michael and their families. Kingswood mourns the passing of this great man with you.
Comments from friends and family on the Kingswood Facebook page:
Very fortunate to have known Steve and to have worked with him on independent school matters. I enjoyed his sense of humour and his love for life. A staunch Kingswoodian and we will all miss him. RIP Steve. Sincere condolences to Kim and the family
Steve was an extraordinary person who gave years of dedicated and excellent service to his old school . His ready smile and engaging manner will be remembered for ever. May he Rest In Peace.
Such sad news. He was a real gentleman and a pleasure to work alongside. My best wishes to his family at this time. Be strong and remember all the good times!
A friend from childhood and a wonderful guy. Steve, you will be so missed by all. Aunty Gift, Lee and family, you are in our thoughts.
A wonderful tribute. RIP Steve
Condolences to the family
An unforgettable man – this beautiful tribute says so much about Steve. All our love Kim Gardner to you and your family ♥️
Gervase P Makoni
What an outstanding man, a man of integrity and wisdom. You achieved a lot for Kingswood and left a legacy Steve, go well and rest well. My sincere condolences to the family and Kingswood community. May God help you through this tough time
Our sincere condolences
We mark the passing of one of the true “giants” of the Kingswood family. Whilst on Council and as a Trustee on the two Kingswood investment Trusts I was privileged to work closely with Steve. His attention to detail, especially dealing with the numbers… See more
His family are heroes for all they did to make Steve’s last years, his best years. Thoughts and prayers to all of you . RIP Steve.
Dana and my sincere condolences to the family
Dianne Zeelie van Heerden
He will be missed. What a pleasure to have worked so closely with Steve throughout our time together serving SABISA both regionally and nationally. Kim Gardner Kelly Brittle Michael and Ashley my deepest condolences.
Pen Lloyd Stapleton
RIP Steve!!! Our sincere condolences to Gift, Kim and the family
Going to miss you cousin, absolute gentleman of note
Thank you for sharing the above message. A tribute to a great guy. Steve will be missed RIP Steve. Our thoughts are with Kim and the family and all the KC Friends. 🙏🙏🙏
Andries Van Niekerk
What a wonderful gentleman, mentor and friend, u will be dearly missed.
Condolences to Kim and family.
What a true gentleman. Sending love to Kim and family xx
RIP Steve, condolences to his family, he was a beaut of a guy
Sending so much love 💕 and many blessings to you all and his family
I’m so sad reading this. Steve always had time for parents and understanding.. I’m so so sorry gir your loss.. what a gentleman he was..RIP Steve
A great man with outstanding business acumen. Steve will be missed by his many friends. Condolences to Kim and the family. RIP my mate.
Steve was a gem, a giant, a ‘mensch’ – always with a twinkle in his eye, always kind, creative and solution-focussed – a dream colleague, and a good friend. Sail the seas, Steve! RIP. You will be greatly missed.
Sandra Ann Cronje
RIP Steve. Condolences to Kim and family.
Rus saggies Mr Steve Gardner.condolences to your family and broader Kingswood college staff and 💕💞♥️
Sandy Van Breda
Sincere condolances to the entire Gardner clan. What a good man. RIP Steve
So saddened by the news , condolences to the family, a true gentleman he will be dearly missed by all who knew him .
Elana Pixie Thal Brooke
So sad to hear about this devastating loss. RIP Steve 💔
So sad to hear of his passing. Sincere condolences to all.
Very sad new
Wow what a stunning eulogy to a Super Guy. RIP Steve.
Thank you for posting this great eulogy for Steve,
Condolences to Family
Steve was a good man, a brave man, and a fellow Paratrooper, a Trooper of Note,… See more
I’m so sorry to hear this. Deepest sympathy Kim and family 😢
Such sad news 😔….rest in peace Steve🙏
Incredibly sad news. Sincere condolences to the family. What a character you were Steve – gone but never forgotten.
Juanella Brittle Martin
A beautiful Soul has sailed into the sunset. RIP Steve.
Sympathies Kim, Gift and fam. A brave battle, still giving of his best to the end. A sad loss to all. RIP dear Steve. Fred and Heather
Sending such love and condolences to the whole family during this very sad time.
I am deeply saddened to read this – my deepest sympathy to Kim, Gift & the family. Xx
An authentic man who will be missed by many. RIP, Steve.
RIP uncle Steve. Condolences to auntie Kim and the rest of the family.
Condolences to his family. One of the sweetest man I have known, so unfortunate to loose such a beautiful kind soul
Mark van Rensburg
RIP Steve. Thanks.
A loss to the Class of ’76. Sincere condolences to the family. Cheers Steve.
Such sad news sincere condolences to family and friends 🙏
Rest I peace Steve. Condolences to the family in this sad time 🙏
I am deeply saddened to read this news. A kind, fair and very understanding gentleman. My condolences to Kim and the family.
I am saddened by the news…. He was a true gentleman and kind and caring. Condolences to his family.
So sad to hear of the loss of another classmate. 1976 seems like yesterday. I did not see much of Steve after school, but always remembered him as a kind and caring soul with a wicked sense of humor. Rest Well Mate and condolences to all the friends an… See more
Condolences to the family. RiP Steve.
Such a gentleman. RIP Steve.
May his soul rest in peace
A true gentleman 🥰
What an amazing man. His family was blessed. Strongs to you Kelly Brittle my friend I know your faith will get you through this.
Rest in peace
Deepest sympathy on your loss
What a loss..
Susan Myburgh Simkiss
RIP Steve. Condolences to Kim and the family
RIP Steve. Condolences to the family in this sad time
Marie Bosman Dickie
Condolences to family and friends.
Very sad. Condolences to Kim and family.
RIP Stev and sincere condolences to the family
So sad to hear of his passing. RIP Steve.
RIP, condolences to the family.
Christopher C Butler
Top man! Go well Steve.
A special man.
Johan La Grange
Gary Joseph Stirk
a fantastic human and all round decent guy.