PORTLAND Wilfred O. Bill Gardner, 90, of Portland, passed away surrounded by his family on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at Maine Medical Center. Born in Portland on November 23, 1924, Bill was the son of the late Wilfred and Gertrude (McMennamin) Gardner. Six weeks after his birth, his mother died and for the next 5 years, he was boarded with the George W. Harris family on Fallbrook Street. His 4 sisters were boarded at St. Elizabeths Orphanage on High Street. At the age of 5, he went on to live with his grandmother, father, aunts, and uncles in Libbytown. When Bill was 10 years old, he rejoined his sisters and father and lived together until the onset of WWII. He attended West, Libby, St. Dominics, and St. Patricks grammar schools. On the evening of his graduation from Cheverus High School on June 6, 1942, he went to the hospital for an operation that would enable him to join the United States Navy. On August 6, 1942, Bill and his father left Union Station by train for boot camp in Newport, RI. His sister Rose also served in the Navy as a Wave. While Bill served aboard the USS Izard DD589 from May of 1943 until December of 1945 in the Pacific Theater of Operations, they participated in 23 Major Campaigns from Tarawa to Iwo Jima. They also came under attack in some of the first Kamikaze attacks in Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines. They earned 12 Battle Stars for their actions. At wars end, they participated in the occupation of Hokadate on the island of Hokkaido. He was recalled to naval service during the Korean War and served aboard the USS Hyman DD 732 in the Mediterranean. Bill is permanent President of the USS Izard association, which meets yearly in different parts of the country. He worked at the Strand Theater as an usher, Rines Bros. and Owen Moores as a shoe salesman, and SS Kresges for 5 years in Portland, Augusta, and Lewiston as an assistant manager. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1984, where he was the Par Coordinator. Bill was a communicant of St. Patricks Church and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, where he was an usher for over 30 years. He was a charter member of ALMACA and the Sahara Club. He served on various boards, including NCA-ME, Southern Maine Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council, Milestone Foundation of Old Orchard Beach, Maine Senior Games, Inc. He was an active participant in Track and Field events, winning numerous medals. Bill was a member of the Harold T. Andrews Post #17 and a past treasurer of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees Casco Bay Chapter 0206. For over 22 years, he was a member of USM Lifeline. For a number of years after his retirement, he enjoyed volunteering his time at St. Patricks to paint classrooms. Bill was a friend of Bill W. Bill was extremely proud of his grandsons; Stephen Leadbetter, who joined the Marines and served in Desert Storm and is now serving in the United States Coast Guard and Franklin for his service in the United States Army. Bill is predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Theresa (Niles) Gardner, daughters Margaret J. Gardner and Elizabeth Gardner Demchak. He is survived by daughter Maryjane Gardner Roberts of Saco, son William X. Gardner, and grandchildren Peggy Ann Emmons, Stephen Leadbetter, and Richard Scott Demchak. Visiting Hours will be held on Sunday from 3-7PM at the Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland. Prayers will be recited on Monday at the Funeral Home at 9:15AM followed by a 10AM Mass of Christian Burial at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101. Burial with Military Honors will follow at Calvary Cemetery, Broadway, South Portland. To share an online condolence with the family, please visit www.ctcrawford.com.