Andrew “Drew” Charles Gardner passed away unexpectedly on Friday, October 18, 2019. Drew was a graduate of Fort Mill High School and The College of Charleston. For over 10 years, he was a beloved member of the music scene and a prolific videographer. Known in the industry as Toucan Films, Drew supported artists and musicians with his camera, his vision, his humor and his whole heart. In recent projects, Drew spread his wings and used his talents to shine light on good works happening in parts of Africa. To all who knew Drew, he was a very loving, caring, compassionate person who adored his friends and his family. He was a champion for the environment and social issues and had a remarkable empathy for others.
Few people knew however, that there was another deeper side to Drew. Few knew the man who stood at his grandfather’s bedside when he transitioned to heaven and comforted him with the words “you are safe, you are protected and you are going to a place of love”.
We understand the bigger picture now. The cost of this remarkable empathy and compassion was that Drew struggled with depression and anxiety. And while his battle was long and brave, the burden was too heavy. Drew had faith in the other side and longed for peace. Though Drew’s earthly journey was cut short, even through his intermittent struggles, he recognized the beauty in humanity. He left a legacy of fond memories and encouragement for others that will continue to live on.
If you are reading these words and you or a loved one can identify with Drew's struggle, we urge you to please, please accept the help that is there for you.
The following resources contain valuable mental health information and/or access to professional intervention:
National Alliance on Mental Illness: https.//nami.org
Anxiety and Depression Association of America: https://adaa.org
The National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1-800-273-8255.
Drew is predeceased by his grandparents: C.P. “Grandbuddy” Hodge, Sr. and Glenn Addison Hodge; John Barbour Gardner, Sr. and Miriam Brabham Gardner.
Drew is survived by his parents, JoNelle Hodge Gardner of Edisto Island, and Steven L. Gardner of Savannah; sister Rachel M. Gardner of Hilton Head; his aunts, Jeanne Hodge Griffith, Ginger Hodge; uncles, Jack Gardner, Jr., CP Hodge, Jr. (Priscilla); Danny Hodge (Suzanne); loving cousins, Janet Addison Shealy, Seth Hodge, Cliff Hodge (Lindsay), and Diana Hodge; plus extended family; honorary family members including Jill Deardorff, Cindy Kellum, Bill Gaither; plus his family of friends who will ensure his spirit of kindness will continue: Snyder, Keon, Victoria, Wolfgang, James, Vukoder, Tarpey, Walker, Coasta, Smarel, Charleston Hip Hop, Deezy, Deangelo, Sara, the creative genius’ of Rialto Row Studio and his best friend P-Nut.
Drew’s Memorial Service will be held at 2:00PM on November 2, 2019 at Edisto Island United Methodist Church, 8193 Palmetto Rd, Edisto Island, SC 29438.
A Tribute to Drew’s Life and Work will be held at 5:30 PM on November 4, 2019 at The Royal American, 970 Morrison Dr, Charleston, SC 29403.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to a Mental Health association of your choice or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 199 Water Street, 11th Floor New York, NY 10038. www.afsp.org