I was born September 28, 1964 to Lillie Reynolds-Gardner and Lorenza Glover, Sr. My legal name from birth was Reginald Ray Lorenza Gardner but you all just called me Ray or Uncle Ray.
At an early age, I confessed and accepted Christ as my personal savior and was baptized at Morning Pilgrim Baptist Church, right here, in Montgomery, AL.
I received my education from Brown’s Private School, Fews Elementary School, Bellingrath Elementary and Jr High School, Sidney Lanier, P4L C/O 83 and Alabama State University. I was a proud Poet and continued to support my school in any way possible, even after my nephew graduated and I could no longer coach from the bleacher. Yeah, yeah I coached every game from those bleacher! If you didn’t see me, I know you heard me! I was a very proud uncle because that was my nephew, #21 running that ball!
I lost my Mom two weeks before I graduated in 1983 and 11 months later my Dad. Man, that was rough but I had to be strong for my sister. It was just the two of us with my nephew and niece. By the grace of God, we made it do what it do. I was IN CHARGE! I know my sister was OLDER but I was the Man of the House.
I’ve always been very proud of my time as a soldier but there’s nothing that could compare to fatherhood. My first official son, my nephew, Carlos, help to prepare me for fatherhood. Man, The Brown Hornet was finally a Dad x 2! That’s right I have a son and a daughter. To my future son-in-law I leave this message: Treat her like her Dad would and son I hope your pockets are deep because as her Dad, I taught her quality and showed her the finer things in life. Ain’t that right, Butterfly? To my Son, my twin, you know what we’ve talked about, so shine and make Dad proud.
If you’ve ever received a special one of a kind card from me, you know I was very creative and enjoyed making personal cards and I enjoyed giving to others. I was the best drummer, at least in my mind! Gayle, I always knew you were hiding my drum sticks but it didn’t matter, Mama’s big mixing spoons worked just fine!
On Sunday, July 4, 2021, God knew I was getting weary and so tired, so He did what He knew was best. He came and stood beside my bed and whispered, “Come my child and rest”. As my sister sat by my bedside (giving my messages to pass on…and man can she talk!), I bade no one farewell. Nope! Not even a goodbye. I was homesick and gone before she or any of you knew it.
Before my heavenly Father brought me home, He gave the gift of eternal life to my Mom, Lillie Reynolds-Gardner, My Dad, Lorenza Glover, Sr., my big brother, Bishop C. C. Gardner III, my oldest brother Arthur Gardner, my Oldest Sister Janice Gardner and two little brothers that didn’t get an earthly name. Whew! You talking about a family reunion!
Well I’ve got to go now. Mama, Mrs. Martha, Mr. Sam, Mrs. Mabel, Mrs. Charlie Mae, Mrs. McKenize, Baby Bruh (my brother), John Thomas, Anita Presley (my best friends)and Poppa Seals, well we’ve got some catching up to do and I don’t want to keep them waiting. You see, we’re Flood Street Strong over here too! Mama taught us to never say “Goodbye”, so I’ll just say, see you later and this is The Brown Hornet signing off, Peace and I’m Out!
I leave to celebrate my life and to cherish my most precious and fondest memories; my loving and caring sister, Rev. Gayle Locklyn-Boddie of Griffin GA, my brother, Tyrone Gardner of Detriot, MI, my son, Reginald Melieck Burns (AL), my daughter, Eboni Rayanna Gardner(FL), my nephew/son Carlos Locklyn (Victoria, KY), special nieces, Quandra Locklyn, Janay Middleton(Theo), Jessika Locklyn, all of GA, 11 nephews and nieces, host of great nieces and nephews, one uncle, Luther “Uncle Shug” Reynolds , Union Springs, AL, Aunts, Minnie and Sadie Reynolds, Union Springs, AL, very special God Parents, Mildred and Willie Calhoun, a distance brother and sister, Lorenza Glover II and Portia Glover, special sister and brother in law, Denise and Sandy Landers, my boys till the end, Terry Seals, Cody Calhoun, Isaac Henderson and Darryl McWhorter, the Calhoun, Thomas, Seals and McBride families and a host of other relatives and friends.
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