Official Trent Gardner Memorial

Magellan's Trent Gardner passed away suddenly June 11, 2016 and this memorial fund was created by his family in response to the outpouring of support from friends, people who worked with him musically, fans and everyone who was impacted by him and wanted to contribute something in his family’s time of need.

Due to the sudden passing of our dad we need immediate financial assistance to ensure a proper, dignified burial for our father. We are grateful and humbled by any size donation that you are able to give.

Our father was, at his core, a creator. This passion can be summed up in a quote our father gave to the Vacaville Reporter for a feature length article they did about him titled, ‘The Makings of a Professional Musician’ (Jan. 6, 1980) which reads, “Music dominates my whole existence; it’s always on my mind...I was born to play music.” After a successful career in the Vallejo Police Department (and making many felony arrests) he was able to turn his attention back to music full time and founded the band that would forever define him, Magellan .

Magellan (1985-2016) was founded by Trent Gardner, his brother Wayne Gardner, and childhood friend Hal Imbrie and over the course of those 31 years seven studio albums were released and from 1997’s Test of Wills onwards, it was just our father and uncle. They held a special musical bond that lasted until our uncle’s death in 2014. Our father was a prolific composer, producer, and contributed on numerous tribute albums and released singles under the Magellan banner on his website, there are 36 projects he was a part of officially. I had the privilege to watch him compose and create music and he would compose and perform all the parts of the song on his keyboard, drums and guitar included, and he always told me that he, ‘thought like a drummer’.

One of his greatest music successes and one that brought him the most joy and fulfillment, was when he was fatefully able to join forces and then collaborate with his adolescent idols, the iconic band Chicago. Our dad’s favorite instrument was his trombone and he would practice after school playing along with their debut album, Chicago Transit Authority. He then being able to collaborate and have album credits on 2014’s, Chicago XXXVI: Now along side Robert Lamm and Lee Loughnane made him the happiest I’d ever seen him.

His contributions included the horn arrangements for, “Crazy Happy”, “America” and his performance on the trombone and synth on, “Naked in the Garden of Allah” & “Free at Last”. Listen here  I, myself was able to work with my dad during these Chicago years on the business side of things and I am grateful for everyone of those days that allowed us to work and create things together.

In this difficult time we want to share our dad’s life’s work and his singular passion of music and even though he did have his faults (like everyone), we love him beyond measure and hope that he found peace. We hope that he, just like his music, is now is able transcend all things temporal.

We love you dad, goodnight.

- Trent Rigel Gardner II, Sarah Elston, & D. Michelle Olson


 See top
  • Greg Redington 
    • $10 
    • 39 mos
  • Terence Lee 
    • $50 
    • 46 mos
  • Daniel Jarvis 
    • $100 
    • 48 mos
  • Joe Thomas 
    • $50 
    • 50 mos
  • Marcello Zagnoli 
    • $50 
    • 50 mos
See all


Sarah Maria Gardner Elston 
Sacramento, CA
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more