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David Lee Gardner

August 1, 1938 January 27, 2020
David Lee Gardner
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Obituary for David Lee Gardner

David Lee Gardner passed away on January 27 at the age of 81. He was born August 1, 1938 in Nebraska to Cleo (Lee) and Glenn Gardner (both deceased).

When he was very young, his family moved west to the logging towns of the Oregon Coast Range. He graduated from Monroe High School and attended Oregon State University. While living in Corvallis, he met Judith Hosford. On their first date, they went to see Mary Poppins; in 1964, they were married.

He embarked on a career as a contractor, framing many of Corvallis’ new subdivisions in the 1960s and 1970s. At the same time, he worked the land on small ranches outside Corvallis. In the late 1970s he turned his hand to ranching full time, first growing alfalfa in south central Oregon’s Langell Valley, then raising cattle for many years in Days Creek before retiring to Stayton.

Dave loved all animals – especially cattle, horses, and dogs – and was always bringing them home. He was a voracious reader who plowed through physics books for pleasure, along with the stories of international espionage that were his staples. He designed and built several houses from the ground up. Dave took great pride in being a part of the fraternity of Freemasonry; he was past master of South Umpqua Lodge No. 72 in Canyonville, and in 2004 received the Masonic Hiram Award for service. He was a natural storyteller with a wickedly dry sense of humor and a generous spirit.

He is survived by his wife Judith Gardner of Stayton; daughter Melissa Hart, her husband John, and granddaughter Maisie of Missoula, Montana; daughter Elizabeth Stanley, her husband Bud, and grandchildren Justin and Lilly Rogers of Corvallis; son Vern Gardner of Stayton; daughter Christine Constantine, her husband Anthony, and grandsons Marcus and Lucas of Portland; and sister Glenda West and her husband John Ukulov of Albany.

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