The Galveston Daily News Galveston, TX 8/11/1992
Jamaica Beach pioneer dies Gardner served as first JB police chief, Dickinson fire marshal By LORA BERNARD The Daily News GALVESTON — John Gardner Sr., Dickinson fire marshal and Jamaica Beach's first police chief, died Saturday evening. Gardner, 57, suffered a heart attack at a restaurant restaurant on the seawall. "He was the closest thing I had to a dad in Texas," said Clyde Batten, Jamaica Beach's current police chief. "Please make sure everyone knows he's going to be missed." Services will be held 1 p.nx Wednesday at St Peter's the Apostle Catholic Church in Galveston, where Gardner Gardner was a member. Burial will follow at Grace Memorial Memorial Park in Hitchcock Visitation will begin 5 p.m. today at Hayes Funeral Home in Santa Fe. Batten said Gardner supported him through the ranks of the Jamaica Beach Police Department Batten said he came to Gardner in 1980 as a disillusioned pho- tojoumalist looking for a career change, "He got me started in my career in law enforce- ment," Batten said. He remembers his mentor as a man who never minced words. Gardner was Jamaica Beach police chief for 12 years. He was born Aug. 9,1935, in San Pedro, Calif. He was a member of the Galveston County Sheriffs Department when he left to begin the Jamaica Beach police force. He hired the original officers and ran the department. department. "He started something that wasn't there before," Batten said. "He should always be remembered for that." After he left the department, Gardner became a certified forensic hypnotist and a professional stage hypnotist. He also was the Dickinson fire marshal, code enforcement officer and arson investigator. He was a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the State Arson Investigators Association. He attended Galveston Community College and Texas A&M University.