Mr. Gardner's most recent position was as head treasurer at the O'Neill Theatre, where Spring Awakening is currently playing. Despite his illness, he came into work every day until July 29, when circumstances forced him to excuse himself. "The producers of many of the shows really admired him," said Harry Groener, a longtime friend. "He was a wonderful treasurer." Mr. Gardner lived at Manhattan Plaza at Tenth Avenue and 43rd Street and it was observed that he happily lived out his days in the few square blocks between that building and theatres in which he worked.
Dean Gardner was born Aug. 19, 1952, in Shawnee, OK. He studied to be an actor at the University of Washington, where he met Groener. After graduating, he moved to New York City, where he began to appear in Off-Broadway show. He also worked regionally. But soon, he began to concentrate his efforts on box office work, something he had dabbled in since the beginning of his career. He first worked in Off-Broadway boxes, later on graduating to Broadway.
There will be no funeral and no memorial service, in keeping with Mr. Gardner's express wishes.