Matthew McClung Gardner Jr.

BALTIMORE, Md. – Mr. Matthew McClung Gardner, Jr. passed away peacefully on Jan. 12, 2024, in Baltimore, Md., of Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 85.

Mr. Gardner “Matt” was born in New York City, N.Y. to Matthew Sr. and Emily McCampbell Gardner and grew up in Darien, Conn. He attended Deerfield Academy and graduated from Yale in 1960 with a degree in American History, where he also played varsity lacrosse. Matt married his college sweetheart, Dr. Judith Dodrill, in 1966.

After teaching for two years at a private middle school in South Carolina, Matt joined the U.S. Navy. He served as an Air Intelligence Officer on the aircraft carrier Coral Sea during the Vietnam War for four years. His time in the Navy sparked a fascination with East Asia, leading him to attain a master’s degree in international relations and Asian studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

He worked at The School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University as assistant dean for academics and associate dean. He also built and directed the Asian Studies Program, leaving an indelible mark on the institution.

After 21 years at Georgetown, Matt and his wife relocated to Maine, where he continued his dedication to education. He was deeply involved with The World Affairs Council of Maine, serving 18 years on the education committee and four years as President. He worked with the Freeman Foundation’s National Consortium for Teaching for 10 years, training high school teachers to incorporate Asian culture into their curricula. He also helped develop the Maine International Trade Center.

An outdoor enthusiast, Matt loved his childhood summer home, Camp Agawam. From camper to counselor, board member to trustee, and life director, he remained committed to Agawam throughout his life.

Matt possessed an extraordinary knack for fundraising, enriching the causes he championed. To all his endeavors, professional and personal, Matt brought kindness, respect, generosity, intelligence, and a fantastic sense of humor. He was a devoted husband, father, friend, and a lover of music, animals, nature, and chocolate ice cream.

Matt is survived by his wife, Judith; daughter, Alexandra (Nike Carstarphen), son, Keith (Amy); and three grandsons, Christopher, Aidan, and Jackson.

A Celebration of Life ceremony will be announced later.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Camp Agawam Main Idea for deserving boys in southern Maine.

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