State Rep. Joe Gardner dead at 68

State Rep. Joe Gardner, D-Batesville, passed away Monday morning, House leaders and hospital officials said.

Gardner, 68, has served in the House representing District 11 since 2007. The district includes parts of Panola and Tate counties. Gardner was chairman of the House Ethics Committee, and served on the Agriculture, Conservation, Education, Military Affairs and Municipalities committees.

Gardner was a Vietnam War veteran, associate pastor at Macedonia M.B. Church and had served as chaplain at Tri Lakes Hospital in Batesville.

House Speaker Philip Gunn on Monday issued this statement:

“Lisa and I are deeply shocked and saddened by the untimely passing of Rep. Gardner. He was a fine man who was well-liked by everyone here. He was one of the kindest members. Our prayers are with his family during this time.”

Clarion Ledger