Edgar “Ed” Gardner passed away peacefully in Napa, California, on August 18, 2020, at the age of 89.
Ed was born in Iowa City, Iowa, and grew up into a farming life. His younger days were spent doing the hard chores associated with farm work. When a break from the chores allowed, Ed participated in team sports such as baseball and football. He attended the one-room school in Morse, Iowa, and graduated in the Class of 1949 from Iowa City High School.
Following a tour of duty in the United States Air Force, where he worked as an engine fuel control specialist on one of America’s most advanced fighter jets, Ed briefly again took up farming before moving to California. He found employment as an electrical specialist and later inspector at Mare Island Naval Shipyard where he participated in some of our country’s most secretive submarine and under-water projects.
Under blue skies on a December day at Lake Tahoe, he married Rosemarie Schaidhammer, and together they made their home and raised their family in Napa for forty-six years. He loved his children and grandchildren and always enjoyed treating them to ice cream.
To meet Ed was to be his friend, and he would give you the shirt off his back. He was an accomplished mechanic and jack-of-all-trades who embodied the idea of American industriousness and can-do attitude. No task was too complicated for his astounding variety of skills and he was always willing to give a hand to anyone in need. Whether repairing many a neighbor’s car, baling hay, tarring a roof, loading classic cars into containers for shipments overseas, Ed always was at hand. His incredible mechanical skills and intuition live on as his legacy in his sons and grandchildren.
One of Ed’s favorite pastimes was to tend to his walnut orchard in Clear Lake, California, where he spent many fruitful years. An avid fisherman, he taught all his kids to fish, a skill which even played a role in his daughter impressing and landing a husband.
A lover of all animals, Ed always had a favorite cat in the house and he could never bring himself to replace his beloved Italian Greyhound, Lina. Even the wild birds were well fed by the seeds Ed placed outside to entice them near so he could enjoy their company and study their habits.
Ed is preceded in death by his beloved wife Rosie and his parents Roscoe and Edna Gardner. He is survived by his brother John Gardner and sister Marjorie Scriver; son Dennis, his wife Rene and their daughters Deanna and Megan; son Thomas, his wife Sally, and their two sons Sam and Joey; son Sean and his wife Sarah; daughter Kathleen, her husband Donald, and their son Calvin; and daughter Debra and her sons Josh and Travis.
The family would like to thank Ed’s physicians Dr. Srebro and Dr. Adhye; Lia Miller and Aricelli Ceja and the staff of The Berkshire Assisted Living residence; Dan Lyle and the staff of Queen of the Valley Hospital for their devoted care and dedication.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Fairview Cemetery 3478 Utah Avenue, Iowa City, Iowa 52240. No services are planned at this time.
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