Donald Eldon Gardner, of Centerville, a kind and gentle son, brother, father, and grandfather passed away at home May 20, 2013 after a short, brave battle with cancer. He was born August 12, 1942 to Eldon J. and Helen Richards Gardner in Ogden, although his family was living in Salinas, California at the time. They moved to Salt Lake City, and then Logan, where he grew up, graduating from Logan High School. He served a two and a half year LDS mission in Austria. He married Kathryn Hammond of Ogden on June 17, 1965 in the Logan LDS Temple.
He received a BS, MA, and PhD in plant pathology from Utah State University. The family, which now included twins, Rosanne and Richard, spent a year at the University of Georgia, where Don completed a post doctorate appointment, followed by another in Phoenix, Arizona, with the USDA. They then moved to Picayune, Mississippi, where he worked as a research biologist at a National Park Service laboratory. When the lab closed they transferred to Hawaii where Don continued with the NPS, first in Hilo, then at the University of Hawaii-Manoa in Honolulu and as an adjunct professor. His research took him to many continents, countries and islands in the world, and resulted in many published papers. After 26 years in Hawaii he retired in 2002 and they settled in Centerville. He was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in several bishoprics, and other callings and had a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. He and Kathy served together recently in the Alpine German-Speaking Mission in Munich, Germany, followed by a year serving in the Bountiful Temple. He enjoyed spending time with the children, grandchildren, and other family members as well as music, poetry, the German language, photography, and gardening. He enjoyed his membership in the Sons of the Utah Pioneers, having a great Mormon pioneer ancestry.
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn, daughter Rosanne Christianse (Neil) of South Jordan, and son Richard Gardner (Naomi), of Buena Vista, Virginia, and 10 living grandchildren - Joshua, Daniel, Christyna, Sarah and Bethany Gardner; Jessica, Darcy, Kathy, Ammon and Maren Christiansen; as well as 4 sisters, Betty (George) Morrison, Cynthia (Steve) Pulley, Alice Giles and Mary Jane (Joseph) Neville, many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, a grandchild, Julia Gardner, a sister, Patricia Mahrt, and brothers-in-law Jerome Mahrt and Gene Giles.
Friends and family may visit Friday evening May 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Russon Brothers Mortuary, 295 N. Main, Bountiful, and on Saturday morning, May 25 from 9 to 10:15 a.m. at the Porter Lane 1st Ward Chapel, 437 West Porter Lane, Centerville. Funeral services will follow at 10:30 a.m. at the Church. Burial will be in the Logan City Cemetery about 3 p.m. Online guestbook at www.russonmortuary.com.