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The Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce proudly announced that it will present the 2023 Award of Merit to Attorney Charles A. Gardner at the 113th Annual Chamber Banquet on May 3, 2023, 6 p.m., at the Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035, 1419 US Highway 11, Gouverneur.

Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce to present Award of Merit to Attorney Charles Gardner
by Rachel Hunter, Gouverneur Tribune Press

The Award of Merit is presented annually and recognizes Chamber members for their long record of service to the community or a notable record of civic accomplishments, and for their commitment to the Chamber's mission of "promoting economic vitality and prosperity in the Gouverneur area."


The public is invited to attend the 113th Annual Chamber Banquet as the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce recognizes Attorney Charles Gardner for his many years of service to the Gouverneur community. Pre-sale tickets only ($25 per person) for the Chamber banquet are now available at the Chamber Office, from any Board Member, or on the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce website, The deadline to purchase pre-sale tickets is Wednesday, April 26.

Attorney Charles A. Gardner is the son of the late Frances L. Gardner and Frandy E. "Buck" gardner, who operated a farm on the Rossie-Oxbow Road all their married life. A native of Rossie and a Hammond Central School graduate (1960.) Charles Gardner was admitted to the bar in February 1977, just a few months after graduating from Albany Law School. In addition to his law degree, Mr. Gardner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Potsdam State and an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Jefferson Community College. 

Attorney Charles Gardner greets Aunt Mary Washburn at her
107th birthday party at the Gouverneur Community Center.

Mr. Gardner began his adult life as an electrician, and served as an electrician’s mate in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Canberra, a heavy guided missile cruiser, from 1960-64. After discharge from the U.S. Navy, he landed a job as an underground electrician at Gouverneur Talc Company. He was employed there until 1967, when he left for Viet Nam. Mr. Gardner served in the Mobile Construction Battalion 11 as a construction electrician with the U.S. Navy Seabees in Quang Tri and Hue, Viet Nam. His brother, Gary, was also a U.S. Navy Seabee in the same battalion. Petty Officer Second Class Gardner returned to northern New York late in 1969 and decided to further his education.


Charles Gardner was elected councilman in the Town of Rossie in 1970, and served for one year before he had to resign as he was forced to move from the township temporarily to continue his studies. After graduation from law school in 1976, he was named associate in the Gouverneur law firm of Nelson, Nelson and O’Donnell and there he became familiar with general law practice including real estate cases, criminal law, and handling estates.


Charles Gardner wed the former Hailesboro native Linda Miles on July 10, 1971 at St. James Church in Gouverneur. Together they enjoyed 48 years of marriage. Linda passed away in March of 2020. The couple raised two children. A son, Nicholas F. Gardner, DDS, a dentist in Gouverneur, makes his home in Rossie with his wife Jennifer (Hadlock) Gardner and they have four children: Kennon (Freshman at SUNY ESF in Syracuse and accepted at Ranger School, Wanakena for his Sophomore year), Nolan (Hammond Central senior), Jensen (fifth grade student at Hammond Central), and Vivian (fourth grade student at Hammond Central). A daughter, Elizabeth A. Gardner, is a special education teacher in the Fulton City School District.


In September of 1978, Mr. Gardner opened his own general law firm in the Village of Gouverneur, involving himself mostly with real estate, criminal law and estates. After six years in private practice, Mr. Gardner successfully ran for the position of St. Lawrence County District Attorney. He served two consecutive terms (eight years) as the county’s district attorney from January 1, 1984 until December 31, 1991.


In January of 1992, Mr. Gardner opened a general law practice in Gouverneur at 123 E. Main Street in Gouverneur and enjoyed decades of service to the Gouverneur community. He retired from private practice in 2021. He now fills his time with the important things in life, especially spending time with his children and grandchildren.


All North Country residents are encouraged to purchase tickets today for the 113th Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce Banquet on Wednesday, May 3, and join in the celebration of 2023 Award of Merit Recipient Attorney Charles A. Gardner. Social Hour is at 6 p.m. (social hour), and 7 p.m. (ham dinner). For more information, call the Chamber office at the 315-287-0331.


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