Some sad news to report as longtime teacher and coach Glenn Gardner passed away in his sleep over the weekend.

As we first reported back in February, Gardner was fighting ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Gardner taught locally at Westport Middle School and Hastings Middle School in Fairhaven, while coaching high school field hockey, softball, and basketball.

"No doubt what made his teaching career, which spanned over 30 years, two states and three school districts special and fun was the opportunity to coach," said Garder's wife, Paula. "He had no idea he was creating his legacy; he was just doing what he loved."

Gardner learned about his ALS diagnosis late last year but decided to coach the ORR girls junior varsity basketball team regardless. The coach managed to keep his diagnosis a secret from the girls until the final few games. Paula Gardner said that he didn't want to upset the team, wanting them to fully enjoy their season without worries. Once the team and parents learned about Gardner's battle, fundraisers were set up at the remaining home games.

A fundraising comedy night that had been twice rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic was tentatively scheduled for September 13 at the Century House.  Paula Gardner said she'd like the event to be re-framed as a celebration of life that could possibly raise money for a scholarship fund in Glenn's name.

Former students and players took to social media to express their condolences.

Paula Gardner said the two would have celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary next month.

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