Cover photo for Carolyn Bradford Gardner's Obituary
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Carolyn Bradford Gardner

October 23, 1927 — October 15, 2023

Augusta, GA

Carolyn Bradford Gardner


Carolyn Bradford Gardner passed away on October 15, 2023 at her home in Augusta, Georgia.


A graveside service will be held Saturday, October 21, 11:00 am at Westover Memorial Park with Dr. J. Colin Harris officiating.


Carolyn was the daughter of the late J. Gary Gardner and Eva West Gardner of Augusta. She was born on October 23, 1927 in Augusta. When she was one year old her family moved to the house on Washington Road where she would live the remainder of her life. She graduated from Tubman High School for Girls in 1942. In her early years, Carolyn enjoyed the theatre. Her first theatrical role was at the age of five and she performed with the Augusta Players in various productions from the 1940s to the early 1960s.


Raised during the Great Depression, Carolyn became a determined worker, beginning with her first job at Kress Department store at age 14. She worked at Ruben’s and Bell South Telephone before joining Georgia Power company as a teller in the accounting department in 1945. After a variety of positions in the company, Carolyn persuaded her bosses to let her sell appliances on a six-month trial basis. She became the top appliance salesperson in Georgia for five consecutive years, and won multiple trips to Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean.


After nearly 30 years, Carolyn retired from Georgia Power and became the first female real estate agent at Blanchard and Calhoun in 1974. She was the first female vice president, a lifetime member of the Augusta Board of Realtors Million Dollar club and was the recipient of many monthly top sales awards. While she was undoubtedly a trailblazer, being the first and often only female, she would contend that there was never any discrimination and there no two better companies in the world.


Carolyn was fiercely independent, yet exceptionally loyal. While opinionated, forthright and strong-willed, she was extremely generous and took great joy in helping people – relatives, friends, loved ones and strangers. Her talent for helping people was remarkable. Genuinely one of a kind, Carolyn left her mark on Augusta, a city she called the best in the world, and will be dearly missed by her family, friends, former clients, and colleagues.


Carolyn is survived by nephews and niece, Thomas W Purdy, Jr. (Jan), Faye Gardner Harris (Colin), E. Gary Purdy, Sr. (Carolyn), Dr. Harold L. Gardner Jr. (Joan), Gardner Michael Purdy (Robbie), thirteen great nieces and nephews and many great, great nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her mother Eva West Gardner, father J. Gary Gardner, brother H. Lamar Gardner, Sr., sister Virginia Gardner Purdy, aunt Alice Gardner, uncle S. Edward Gardner and long-time companion Julian F. Owens.


The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Richard Field for his exceptional care for more than 25 years. Her family also expresses gratitude for her amazing caregivers whose care over the past few years as her health declined allowed Carolyn to remain in her home, keep her much valued independence and helped her stay connected with and continue to look after many friends and loved ones.


Pallbearers include James E. Blanchard, William A. Davis, David Goldman, Winston Hogan, Larry D. Moss, Hinton A Owens, Carl E. Nichols, Dr. James E Reynierson, III, Craig Rogers, and G. Thomas Salley.


If so desired, memorial donations may be made to Christ Community Health Services of Augusta, PO Box 2344, Augusta, Georgia 30901.


Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Rd., Augusta, GA 30907 (706) 364-8484. Please sign the guestbook at

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Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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