Mississippi House members memorialize Rep. Joe Gardner

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Members of the Mississippi House of Representatives are remembering Rep. Joe Gardner as someone who cultivated relationships across party and other lines.

The House held a memorial Friday for the Batesville Democrat, who died of an apparent heart attack Monday.

Rep. Kimberly Campbell Buck, a Jackson Democrat, says Gardner studied the House roster, memorizing members’ families. Buck says Gardner called every day when she was confined to bed while pregnant. Rep. Brad Mayo, an Oxford Republican, says he admired Gardner for avoiding anger during contentious debates.

Gardner’s memorial service will be Saturday in Batesville, with a funeral Sunday at Batesville High School.

The 68-year-old had served in the House since 2007 and was chairman of the House Ethics Committee. He represented District 11, including parts of Panola and Tate counties.

Click video to hear audio