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Willard Leigh Gardner

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Willard Leigh Gardner 1932 ~ 2008 Willard Leigh Gardner, 76, died Friday, July 18, 2008 after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. Born March 12, 1932 in Cedar City, Utah to Arthur and Mary Ina Hunter Leigh Gardner, he attended local schools and was active in sports and music. After graduating from BAC Junior College in Cedar City, he transferred to Utah State Agricultural College in Logan where he joined the Sigma Nu fraternity and participated in the USAF ROTC. While at college, he met and became smitten with his future bride, Doris Elaine Keller, of Manti. Willard stayed an extra year in school, delaying his graduation so he could be with Doris and graduate with her. They were married in the Manti Temple on June 24, 1955. Willard was called to active duty in the US Air Force in October 1955 and spent the next 20 years of his professional life as a Personnel and Administrative Officer retiring with the rank of major. His military career took him and his family to Texas, Germany, Montana, Panama, Thailand, and Utah (HAFB). Willard was well-liked and formed many lasting relationships. After retirement from the military, he worked for Davis County as an appraiser and was later appointed as County Assessor. He was subsequently elected to three more terms and retired after 16 years of service. Willard was an active and devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in many ward and stake positions. He loved his family, friends, good food, good music, useful gadgets, his country, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was a man of honesty and integrity with a great and keen sense of humor. His humor and wise counsel will be greatly missed. Willard is survived by his beloved and devoted wife, Doris and their five children: Valayne (George) Love, Layton; Douglas (Brenda) Gardner, West Valley City; Lanette (Blake) Hawkes, Kaysville; Patti (Kevin) Shields, Tooele; and Arthur (Cheryl) Gardner, Clovis, CA; and one brother, Robert Leigh (LaRue) Gardner of Cedar City; also 23 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, A. Wendell Gardner, sister, Dorothy Gardner. The family wishes to extend a heart-felt thanks to Dr. Robert C. Moesinger for his compassionate care and to Vista Care Hospice and staff, especially Marie and Amber. Graveside services will be held Saturday, July 26, 2008 at 12 noon at the Manti City Cemetery. Friends and family may call Fri., July 25, 2008 from 6-8 p.m. at Lindquist's Layton Mortuary, 1867 No. Fairfield Road. In lieu of flowers, please send donations www.huntsmancancerfoundation.org e-mail condolences to the family at www.lindquistmortuary.com
Published in Deseret News on July 23, 2008
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