Saturday, November 20, 2010

Clarence Gardner: Obituary

The following was published in the Star Valley Independent on 30 October 1959, pp. 1, 12:

Clarence Gardner, Church, Civic Leader, Dies at 84

Clarence Gardner, 84, pioneer, church and civic leader of Star Valley, passed quietly away at the Star Valley LDS Hospital, Sunday, Oct. 25 at 6 a.m. with the members of his family at his bedside.

Clarence Gardner was born at West Jordan, Utah, Nov. 6, 1875, where his father, Archibald Gardner, was bishop, millman and farmer. When he was 14, his father moved his family to Star Valley.

They established their home and set up their mills at the mouth of Swift Creek Canyon, east of the present site of Afton. He worked with his father and brothers in the grist, saw, shingle mills and on the planer. While logging for the mills with his brothers in the nearby mountains, he discovered the intermittent spring. They were the first white men to see it. It now furnishes the greater portion of the Afton water supply.

At the age of 16, he began to keep the accounts and books for the mills, a position he held until his recent illness.

He was married to Alice Ann Burton, Oct. 8, 1897 in the Salt Lake Temple.

From his boyhood, he was an enthusiastic and energetic church worker, using his leadership to encourage and support every progressive undertaking that would benefit his community or church.

He took delight in good music and was instrumental in establishing the first band in Star Valley, learning to play the cornet in this band. They played at the early celebrations in the valley. He helped to start a choir, and sang in the choir in his ward in Afton for 40 years.

He filled a mission to the Eastern States, where later his son Elworth and his granddaughter Elma also labored.

He worked as a teacher and in the superintendency of the MIA and Sunday School organizations in both ward and stake capacities.

When the Star Valley Stake was first organized, he was appointed a counselor to President George Osmond. At the death of President Osmond, he was appointed stake president. This position he filled with complete devotion for 27 years.

Through his influence as stake president, he was able to assist greatly in many church and civic improvements for the benefit of Star Valley. The building of the Star Valley Stake Tabernacle, Seminary and the LDS Hospital came about while he was stake president. They were always a source of special interest and pride to him.

As a civic and community leader he also wielded a strong influence in the affairs of Star Valley. After the incorporation of Afton as a town, he was its second mayor, elected in the year 1905. He also served as a councilman later.

He represented Star Valley and Lincoln County in the State Legislature for a period of 22 years, 18 of which he was a senator. While holding this office he held the position of President of the Senate, receiving many honors, such as Acting Governor on two different occasions.

His two terms representing Star Valley as county commissioner gave him further opportunity to serve for the benefit of his beloved valley.

Another public service in which he took great pride and satisfaction was his connection with Star Valley State Bank, in which he served as president of the board of directors for 30 years, holding this position at the time of his death.

Millman, dairyman, farmer, he struggled against many odds, always anxious to build up Star Valley's industry.

He was associated as a partner with his son, Kenneth in the local Western Auto Associate Store.

He was a tender, loving husband and father, taking great pride and satisfaction in his home and family. He had four sons and one daughter. Only his daughter Mrs. Herman (Marian) Fluckiger of Bedford and his son Kenneth Grant Gardner of Afton survive him.

He has 11 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren, all living.

He is also survived by his brothers Bruce and Frank Gardner, of Afton, with whom he has constantly been associated in the milling business; his brother Wilford W. Gardner of Salt Lake City; and his sister, Mrs. Lillian W. Garner, of Hooper, Utah.

Funeral services were conducted Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 1 p.m. in the stake tabernacle, with Bp. Gray Hillstead of the Osmond Ward, conducting. A large crowd of relatives and friends paid their last respects to him. He was buried in the Afton Cemetery.

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