Search here...

His Patches Went to the Moon

Today we said goodbye to an icon in the embroidery industry. Marvin Gardner passed away on Monday April 11 at his home in Dallas, TX. Marv1BL

His name may not be familiar to you but his presence and influence in the commercial embroidery industry is legend.  For several decades, he steered Dallas Cap and Emblem and was honored by President Nixon in 1969 for working with NASA on developing the official Apollo 11 Emblem worn by the astronauts.  When Neil Armstrong and Edmund “Buzz” Aldrin stepped on the moon, they were wearing the Apollo 11 embroidered emblems on their flight suits under their space suits. Apollo11BL

President Nixon sent Marvin a letter commending him for his participation in this historic event.NixonBL

Marvin was Big Poppa to all of us at Designs. He came to work every day for the 16 years since DIME’s inception.  You see, he’s family here, the father of my business partner, Gary Gardner.  An avid sports fan, Marvin led the office football pool every week and took great joy in winning a dollar from his best office friends, Charles Henry and Bryant Royal. Those three have worked together for 39 productive years.  Marvin was also our walking encyclopedia of embroidery facts, myths, equipment, people and more. If we had a question about embroidery, we asked Marvin. If he didn’t know, then we probably had an opportunity to invent something new and exciting!


Gary, Marvin, Brent and Shirley Gardner.

Marvin was not just a businessman; first, he was a family man. A husband to Shirley (Pasternak) Gardner for 62 years and father to five children: Paul, Robert, Janelle (Friedman), Gary and Vickie (Sokolik).  He had 22 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Marvin was bigger than life – a true Texan. When I look at Big Tex at Dallas Fair Park (home of the Cotton Bowl), I always think of Marvin.  Standing tall, an imposing presence with a smile that lit up the city.  BigTexBL

I remember the first time my Stitching Sister, Marie Zinno, worked with Marvin at a show in Michigan. They dined together and Marvin ordered and finished the largest steak she had ever seen. That was Marvin, larger than life with a heart of gold.




  • Jody

    Sorry you all lost someone you all held dear to your heart. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Carolyn

    Prayers of comfort to all of you, family and extended family and friends. Guess he’s herding up the angels and starting a new embroidery business now.

  • Linda Mundell

    He is now embroidering for the angels!

  • Barbie

    Sad indeed. My husband and several of his family members worked at Dallas Cap for several years in the 70’s.

  • Julie

    I am so sorry for your loss. How blessed you are to have had this sweet man in your life for so many years. May God bless your family with strength, love, and peace that transcends understanding. You are in my prayers.

  • Shirley Clark

    This is so interesting to know. I’m sure he will be greatly missed. Prayers for all his family and friends.

  • Cheryl

    So sorry for your loss. He looks like a wonderful person. His patch is absolutely beautiful.

  • ellen osten

    My deepest Sympathy to you and yours for the loss of this super guy. So much talent and willing to share and pass it on.

  • Sharron

    So sorry for your loss. I feel privileged to have met him and had conversations with him. He was a wonderfully sweet man. His presence was genuinely larger than life and my prayers for comfort and support go to the entire Gardner & Designs & G7 families.

  • Sharon

    My prayers goes out to the Gardner family & Designs community. My his soul be at peace.

  • Joanne Banko

    My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Gardner family, friends, and loved ones.

  • Sandi Kubler

    My prayers are with the Gardner family and everyone who is saddened by his passing yet blessed by the honor of knowing him. I did not know him, I knew of him, I always wished to meet him someday. Maybe I still might?

  • Mary Hawkins

    Please accept my sincere prayers of strength and healing with loss of your dear friend. Sounds like he had a wonderful life. Lots to celebrate the joy and blessing of being part of his life.

    With Deepest Sympathy
    Mary Hawkins
    Salem, OR

  • Bruce

    Sad ending, but Im sure he will greatly missed.


  • Chrystal Cordoba

    What an outstanding article, thank you so much for rising this issue.
    Being profoundly assured that a whole lot of folks would discuss your perspectives,
    and I even showed your writing to a friend
    of mine. And that is when the arguments started…

    We have different opinions but, of course, no problem, be it
    just something routine or genuinely important, should destroy a real friendship.
    In my humble view, which has the right to exist, the next point you have
    made cannot be questioned.