TRYON, N.C. John Luther Gardner, age 78, of Tryon, N.C., died on Tuesday, November 26, 2019, with his wife, Elizabeth Williamson Gardner, at his side. Gardner had a 30-year career as an economist in the D.C.-based Department of Housing and Urban Development. John met the love of his life, Elizabeth, in the church choir at Washington's historic New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. He was a longtime member of the Washington Balalaika Society amongst other organizations. John spent his retirement years in Tryon, where he and his wife were active members of area musical organizations and the Tryon Presbyterian Church. Gardner is survived by wife, Elizabeth, a longtime Lynchburg resident; two sisters-in-law, Marion Williamson Price and Anne Williamson Rickmon; and other family in the Lynchburg area. An online guest register is available at

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