Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Happy 97th Birthday Daddy

Today is my dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Dad!! My dad would have been 97 years young but best of all he would have been living. Oh how I wish he would have lived on, but he didn't, but he did - he lived on through me and my brother, his two grandsons and his one great granddaughter at the time AND of course his wife, my mother. It is so hard to lose someone you love, and sometimes it feels like it will be almost impossible to go on without them. We had no service, no memorial, no family gathering to let him know how much we loved him and how much we would miss him, no stories to share, no jokes to tell - nothing. We did this because those were his wishes and we wanted to honor him but I don't think he knew how much we needed that closure. This was 7 February 2006 and 8 plus years later we all still feel the same- kind of in a limbo, no closure. I have given this a lot of thought over the years and shed a lot of tears. I have talked to him as if he were still here waiting for the answers to questions. He will always to be in my heart and a big part of my life but it is time to let go and let him rest in peace. Never really understood that statement "rest in peace" because what else are they going to do, but maybe just maybe they are still hanging around trying to give comfort and reassurance to the living that they are ok and they will be seeing us again down the road.

My dad wrote his own obituary and I kept it in tact except a little updating, plus I added the first picture. The cost was prohibited unlike the old days of these community notes being free but it is the least we can do for him............... we certainly wanted to honor him and tell his story. Hopefully it is captured here. But I don't know that it tells how loving he was, how patient, how much he loved his family and wanted only the best for him, how much his advise and counseling meant to each of us...... yes, I am my fathers daughter and very proud of it.

Sacramento Bee Newspaper,
Sacramento, California 12 Feb2006
In Roseville, CA, February 7, 2006, 9:20pm, born August 17, 1917 in Alliance, Ohio, age 88. Resident of Roseville, CA, and a long time California resident, 1957. Survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Jane (Little) Gardner. Loving father of Sandra Lee Aberle-Benward & son-in-law Charles David Benward of Citrus Heights, CA and Robert Michael Gardner and daughter-in-law Nancie Grogan of Castro Valley, CA, 3 grandchildren, Michael John Aberle & his wife of Kristi Athena Aberle of Galt, CA, Jason Gardner Aberle of Roseville CA & Kimberly Ann Sheffield of San Lorenzo, CA. One great granddaughter, Ashlyn Makayla Aberle of Galt, CA. Son of John Patterson and Margaret Evelyn (Branfield) Gardner formerly of Alliance, OH, Del Ray Beach, FL and San Carlos, CA; Brother of Lois Ann Seidner and brother-in-law Richard John Seidner of Surprise, AZ and brother of Vancil Roy Gardner (deceased) of Alliance, OH. Graduated from Beaver Senior High School, Beaver, PA in 1935; attended Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, PA. He served with Battery C, 1st Battalion, 135th Field Artillery Regiment, 37th Division, Ohio National Guard prior to World War II, Attended Officer Candidate School #23 at Ft Benning, Georgia, 1942. Served with the 385th Infantry Regiment, 76th Infantry Division during World War II; Army of Occupation in Germany with 33rd Field Artillery Battalion 1st Infantry Division, 867th Field Artillery Battalion (280mm Gun); Korean Military Assistance Group (KMAG) as Artillery Advisor to II Corps Artillery (Korea); attended military schools at Fort Monroe, VA, Fort Lee, VA, Fort Sill, OK, & Fort Bliss, TX.  
He retired from military service in 1962 at Fort Winfield Scott, Presidio of San Francisco, CA in the grade of Lieutenant Colonel, Artillery, after serving with the San Francisco-Travis Air Defense Command. Awarded the Expert and Combat Infantry Badge, awarded the Bronze Star Medal twice, the Commendation Ribbon with Medal Pendant. Retired from San Mateo County Assessor's Office in 1977 and El Dorado County Assessor's Office in 1983. Life member of the Military Officers Association of America, life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7889, life member of Disabled American Veterans, life member of National Association for Uniformed Services, member of the 76th Infantry Division Association. At Lieutenant Colonel Gardner's request, no services will be held. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and a friend to one and all. He will be interned in Arlington Military Cemetery, Wash DC. The family requests that any remembrances be made to the American Cancer Society.

Published in the Sacramento Bee on 2/12/2006. 

(Note: at the last minute this second photo was NOT included in the obituary)
Since 2006 the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, Dixon, California has been opened and Mom has changed plans from Arlington National Cemetery to the new Sacramento Valley National Cemetery for both of them to be buried. It would have been a very prestige's to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC (by the way, one of my favorite cities to visit) but it makes more sense, it is easier to visit in the future.  Since they are both veterans they will both be honored. 

By the way, dad was cremated and is just waiting patiently for his beloved Mary Jane to join him someday. She is now 94 years and has been waiting almost 8 years to join him. 

-- do a post- Beaver Senior High School, Beaver PA 1935  - I attended reunion in 1999/2000
--want to do more reading about the 1920's in Alliance, Stark County, Ohio and through the 1920's, 30's, 40's & into the 50's
--research more about Military Officers Association of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7889,  Disabled American Veterans, National Association for Uniformed Services, 76th Infantry Division Association.
-- I have a lot of the paperwork my dad kept about his military status                                                                            

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