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Rodney J. Gardella, 78, of Haverhill, passed away peacefully Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at Holy Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley in Haverhill. He was the devoted husband of Helen Gardella. Rodney was born September 17, 1940 in Haverhill, MA. He was a lifelong resident of Haverhill having attended Haverhill schools.
Rodney honorably served his nation in The United States Navy where he was awarded the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. He was employed for many years with the United States Postal Service in Haverhill. Rodney proudly owned and operated the Long Branch Saloon in Haverhill for approximately 19 years. It was there he would organize Red Sox and Patriots game day trips as well as whitewater rafting weekends for friends and customers. The tips at Long Branch Saloon always went to the Boston Children’s Hospital. He was also employed with Community Action in Haverhill, AMR Ambulance and most recently Freshwater Farms. A proud veteran, Rodney was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post-34 in Plaistow, NH, and V.F.W. Post-29 in Haverhill, MA. He enjoyed traveling, New England Sports teams-most notably the Boston Red Sox. He had a great love for westerns and "The Duke" John Wayne. And most of all he especially enjoyed time with family and friends.
Rodney is survived by his wife Helen Gardella of Haverhill, his four sons, Jerry David and his spouse Anne of MA, Frank Gardella and his spouse Cheryl of Newton, NH, Dennis Gardella and spouse Michael of Amesbury, MA and Albert Gardella and spouse Bryan of Plaistow, NH and granddaughter, Angelica. He is also survived by a stepson, Jim Gagnon and his step grandsons, Max and Vaughn and stepdaughter, Melissa Gagnon. He will also be dearly remembered by his brother Joseph Stankus, two sisters, Bonnie Laporte and Sharon Naffah, several nieces, nephews and countless friends.
Family and friends are kindly invited to attend visiting hours, Thursday, July 11, 2019 from 5-7 PM at The Grondin-Carnevale Funeral Home, 129 Kenoza Ave. Haverhill, MA 01830. A private graveside will take place at Holy Angels Cemetery in Plaistow, NH. In lieu of flowers the family request that donations in Rodney’s name be made to St. Jude’s Hospital by visiting https://www.stjude.org. For directions or online condolences please visit www.GrondinCarnevale.com.