In Memoriam: Summer Fest Volunteers Bob Gardner & Ray Winans

Bob Gardner (right) pictured alongside fellow Summer Fest volunteer Steve Pollock.

This is a guest post from SJZ’s Artistic Director Bruce Labadie, who was familiar with the contributions both Bob Gardner and Ray Winans provided the organization over the years.

We have been lucky to have some of the best long-term volunteers who fill in critical roles, without which we would not be able to present Summer Fest, a quality festival  we’ve presented for close to 30 years.

Two such volunteers passed away recently. Bob Gardner, a lead transportation volunteer, helped us manage the arrival and departure of the hundreds of musician who attend the festival each year. He was tireless, enthusiastic, dedicated, and generous with his resources. Unfortunately, his heart gave out last week. Myself, our transportation crew, and all the musicians he came in contact with will miss him.

Ray Winans, one of our key backstage volunteers who helped manage Main Stage, had his hear give out as well. Ray was a delight to work with, and I had the pleasure of doing so at San Jose Jazz and with other organizations for more than 20 years. He handled the most difficult of situations with poise and patience, and could be counted on to anticipate and handle our hospitality needs. It won’t be easy to fill his shoes.

We say goodbye to both of these men and thank them for being part of our organization for so many years. Summer Fest won’t be the same without them.

Bob Gardner’s widow has requested, in lieu of flowers, that those wishing to honor Bob make a donation to San Jose Jazz’s education programs. You can do so by visiting our donate page and requested your donation go to supporting SJZ’s education efforts. Though the service honoring Ray took place on April 20, the life celebration for Bob Gardner will be Saturday, April 29 at 12pm inside Saratoga Federated Church (20390 Park Pl, Saratoga).