Garder passed away peacefully in his sleep at home surrounded by family members.
He is survived by his wife, Theresa Atkinson, his daughter Brandy, son Jason and granddaughter.
In 1998, Gardner started Hot Desert Knights, which produces adult entertainment for the gay community.
"Bill was the kind of guy who would quite literally give the shirt of his back and give it to you if you needed it... then offer his trousers," said Lee, Hot Desert Knights president.
"Bill's heart was always filled with compassion, a giving attitude and the wit that went beyond human comprehension. If you were down and out, he would cast miles of smiles and humorous 'one-liners' to pull you out of a downward spiral. He never once asked for anything back in return, always defining this as "the way we do it". He also gave open handedly to so many causes in the gay community; his generosity was astounding. We all miss him greatly."
A private memorial service will be held in Seaford, Del., at a later date.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be sent to the AIDS Assistance Program, 1276 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, Calif. 92262.