October 25, 1931 - January 16, 2022

 

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Frank Robert “Bob” Gardner, 90, of Paynesville, Minnesota, died peacefully on Sunday, January 16, 2022, at the Quiet Oaks Hospice House in St. Augusta, Minnesota.

Bob was born October 25, 1931, in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Helen Margaret Bryant and the Reverend Frank Nelson Gardner. In his youth, he lived in several different towns and states due to his father’s employment as a minister.

Eventually, Bob and the family settled in Des Moines, Iowa, where he graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1948. He then went on to attend Drake University and graduated in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While at Drake, Bob played football as a tight end for the Drake Bulldogs.

It was at Drake University that Bob met his future wife, Mary Jane “Jane” Drake. They married on June 3, 1953, at University Christian Church, with Bob’s father officiating. They were married 54 years before Jane died in May of 2008.

Bob spent most of his adult working career in electrical supply sales in Iowa. He started his sales career at Westinghouse in Davenport, Iowa. He also worked for Terry-Durin Electrical Supply Company for many years. He was a recipient of the IAMU (Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities) Associate Member award in 2000. He worked for Iowa Utility Supply just before his retirement

In 1975, Bob moved his family just outside of Davenport to a hobby farm in Blue Grass, Iowa. It was there that he raised beef cattle and grains. He provided his 3 daughters with a longed-for horse and 3 ponds. Bob raised a large garden and orchard. There was rarely a need for fresh produce in the Gardner household. Bob served on the Zoning Board of Adjustment for several years for the city of Blue Grass, Iowa.

Bob always enjoyed a good game of pinochle or poker, as well as bridge, which he played professionally with his wife in his younger years.

Bob enjoyed “coming up north” to fish for many decades at the Scenic Hiway resort with his guide and owner, Virgil. Virgil made sure Bob always had his limit of walleye and crappie. Bob was also an avid hunter, loving to hunt quail and pheasant in Mt Ayr, Iowa with his friends, the Trullingers and numerous others. Bob tried hard never to miss a December deer hunt there.

Not long after Jane died, Bob moved to Paynesville, Minnesota, where his son Dr. Robert Gardner (also Bob) and his wife Phyllis built an apartment for him attached to their home. In later years, Bob liked to say, “If I’d known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” The family would like to thank Dr. Bob Gardner and Phyllis for providing a home to Dad in his later years, and ensuring he got the medical care he needed to live a long and happy life.

Survivors include Bob’s children Dr. Bob Gardner and his wife Phyllis of Paynesville; Linda Dodd and her husband Tom of Davenport, Iowa; Kathryn Faver and her husband Bill of Bemidji, Minnesota; and Anne Fonda and her husband Rick of York, Pennsylvania. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren; by his brothers Reverend Bill of Newton, Iowa; and Richard (wife Kathy) of Cambridge MN. Bob's sister Margaret Joan Gardner died in 1983.

A Memorial Service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home (635 Airport View Court) in Paynesville. Visitation will begin after 11 a.m. on Saturday at the funeral home in Paynesville. Private burial will take place at the Ponto Lake Cemetery near Deer River at a later date.