David L. Gardner of Holbrook passed away on Thursday, March 26, 2015, in Phoenix, just two days after his 72nd birthday. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 2, at the Woodruff Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with a visitation one hour prior to the services. Interment will follow in the Woodruff Cemetery.
He was born on March 24, 1943, in Snowflake the late John Newton and Kathlene (Fenn) Gardner.
Dave was an avid businessman who loved to be in business. He owned and operated many Chevron service stations throughout Arizona and at one time held the distinction of being the youngest Chevron dealer in the state of Arizona after opening his first station in Scottsdale in the ‘60s. At his peak he owned and operated seven stations at one time, among many other business ventures.
Although Dave dealt in many different trades throughout his life, his greatest passion was his farm. He loved the dirt and the peace he felt while gardening and tending to the soil. Dave loved animals of all kinds, but his biggest prize on the farm were his cattle, Dave’s “pets,” as he liked to refer to them, that were more like family than anything else. He had an affinity for his beloved “Big Ed,” an Allis-Chalmers tractor that Dave spent many countless hours on.
An avid fisherman, he would fish anytime, anywhere and at any place. He fished from Oregon to Mexico, freshwater or saltwater. It didn’t matter what type of fish, as long as he had a line in the water he was content. He practically raised his children on a boat, with a pole in hand.
Dave loved to spend time with his family, especially his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed cooking and oftentimes he would be heard saying that he lived to eat, not that he ate to live. A wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend, Dave will be deeply missed by all, but none more than by his own family.
Survivors include his loving wife, Ann Gardner of Holbrook; his children, Libby (Gary) Puls of Temecula, Calif., and John Paul (Elizabeth) Gardner of Safford; his grandchildren, Anne Marie (William) Fugere, Charles David Lisitzky, Garrett Puls, Jami Lynn Gardner, Shayla Ann Gardner, Nikki (JC) Lunt, Consuello Diaz, Xavier Diaz and Michael (Maria) Diaz; his great-grandchildren, Isabella Rainnne Fugere, Alexandria Rose Fugere, Kyson Lunt, Jakoby Lunt, Kash Lunt, Bently John Gardner, Violet Diaz, Isabella Elena Diaz and Michelle Hermenia Diaz; four sisters, Brenda (Glen) Johnson of Woodruff, Karen (Bud) McLaws of Holbrook, Peggy (Benny) Goodman of Woodruff and Aleda Gardner of Utah; three brothers, Max (Virginia) Gardner of Woodruff, Donald (Connie) of Snowflake and Arnold Gardner of Woodruff; as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Marvin Gardner.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-6011, or catch a fish and release it back for Dave to catch.
Owens Livingston Mortuary of Show Low was in charge of the arrangements.