Clayton Gardinier (1927 - 2013)

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Gardinier, Clayton S.

"As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

Clayton Steele Gardinier, 86, peacefully went to his Lord early Monday morning, December 2, 2013. Dad was the youngest child of Frank and Ada (Steele) Gardinier, born November 15, 1927 in Waukesha WI. During his parents' 27 moves in 50 years of marriage, Dad went to many schools but spent his last three years of high school at New London High School where he excelled in his studies and in sports and was elected Senior Class President, a wonderful tribute for the new kid in town. Dad drove a Model T in high school. His motto in the senior yearbook was, "With a rattle of the fenders and a blatt of the horn, here comes Clay as sure as you're born."

After graduating high school in 1946, Dad joined the Army-Air Corps which separated a few months later, and he stayed with the Air Force where he worked in radar/communications at bases in Bangor ME, Denver CO and in Florida. After he was honorably discharged in 1949 as a Sergeant E-4, he went to MSOE for a year. Then he fell in love with our mother, Barbara Kolbe, of New London. Dad was baptized into the Lutheran faith, then they were married October 14, 1950 at Emanuel Lutheran Church in New London with Pastor Robert Sawall and wife, Charlotte, as attendants. In the next three years, they had three children, Leslee, Clayton F., and Rodney, and Robert was born in 1959. In 1951, Clay started working at Marathon Corp at the Washington Street Plant. As the company changed hands to American Can, American Can Packaging, and American National Can, he was in graphics coordination, machine scheduling and Customer Service. He retired in January, 1990 after 38 years of service. While Barbara also worked, Clay worked second jobs till about 1970 as well, such as a milk hauler for Galloway Milk, a carpenter, handyman, and as a bartender for Bleier's Bar from 1960 to 1970. Their hard working taught us to also work hard, be productive and respectful citizens and look at life with a little sense of humor.

Our parents were members of the Moose Lodge in the 1970's as Governor and Senior Regent. Dad has been a member of EAA since the 70's, where they took family members especially his grandsons camping every year. They were also pollsters on the south side of Appleton for many years. Dad enjoyed woodworking, having built a doll house, desks, his tool shed, house renovations and repairs, and tinkering with small engines. We kids had our own built-in repairman. He was also a John Deere enthusiast. In the early 80's, Mom and Dad refound God which strengthened their love for each other and their faith in their Lord and they became even more involved with their church, St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran. They enjoyed taking trips together and enjoyed attending their grandchildren's activities, such as sports, concerts, plays, Cub Scouts, and other school events. They were the best at moral support for all of us.

For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

Dad is survived by his very special friend and companion, Hazel Steudel; his children: Leslee Gardinier, Clayton F. and wife Dallas, Rodney and wife Karen, and Robert and wife Linda; grandchildren/great grandchildren: Bruce Mickelson Jr and special friend, Sara Pergolski; Clay Mickelson; Courtney Gardinier; Grace Gardinier and fiancé Casey Davis, Alicia, husband Curtis Hill and daughter Chloe; Andy Gardinier; step-grandson Cory Susor, wife Shelley and children Reese, Rianne and Rachel; also, Jackie Quasius and ex-daughter-in-law, Cathie Stumpenhaus, and leaves behind many, many friends.

Dad was preceded in death by his loving wife, Barbara, his parents, Frank and Ada Gardinier and all of his siblings/spouses: Frank and Virginia Gardinier, Wallace and Ruth Gardinier, Robert and Esther Gardinier, Evelyn and John Condella, and 10-year-old sister, Elizabeth. His in-laws, Albert and Loretta Kolbe, sister-in-law Ardis Kolbe LaValley, brother-in-law Al Mimms and grandparents-in-law, Frank and Emma Rohloff who helped Mom and Dad start out their married life.

Funeral service for Clayton will be 11:00 AM on Friday December 6, 2013, at ST. PAUL EV. LUTHERAN CHURCH, 302 N. Morrison St. Appleton, with Rev. Peter Walther officiating. Visitation will be held at Valley Funeral Home on Thursday December 5; beginning at 4:00 until 7:00 PM. Visitation will continue at the church on Friday at 10:00 AM until the hour of service. Entombment will be at Highland Memorial Park, Appleton

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him and His righteousness unto children's children. . ." Psalms 103: Verses 15-17.

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Valley Funeral Home
2211 N. Richmond St.
Appleton, WI 54911
(920) 733-5435
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Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on Dec. 4, 2013
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