Terry D. Gardner, 76, of Idaho Falls, passed away Monday, April 1, 2013, at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center after a long, courageous battle with COPD.
Terry was born February 10, 1937, in Idaho Falls to Nathaniel Gardner Jr. and Zelda Jacqueline Van Vleet Gardner. He grew up on the family farm in Osgood, Idaho, where he learned to love horses and work with his hands. He attended grade school in Osgood and high school in Idaho Falls, but due to the early death of his father, he was forced to quit and support the family by working on the farm.
He married his high school sweetheart, Joyce Brown, and together they had three children. They divorced 20 years later.
In 1978, he married Betty Moulton Blake, whom he loved to the last day of his life.
He worked as a firefighter for the City of Idaho Falls, where he loved his job and served for over 25 years. He retired from the Fire Department in 1984 with the rank of Battalion Chief. He was instrumental in creating the pension fund that Idaho firefighters enjoy today.
Just before retiring from the fire department, he started Quality Insulation, and through his hard work and business ethic, it grew to be the largest insulation company in Southeast Idaho. He had dealings with international insulation companies and was highly influential in the insulation industry. He served as a board member in several national insulation organizations. His passion and drive was evident in every aspect of his life, and he developed many close friendships with co-workers, customers and fellow contractors.
Terry and Betty built a cabin in Island Park and spent many great years there enjoying the outdoors. Being at the cabin was Terry's sanctuary. While there, he often pondered on God's wondrous creations and was grateful for his way of life.
Some of his favorite things were boating, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, building birdhouses and doing jigsaw puzzles. However, his greatest joy was spending time with his family and friends and rejoicing in their accomplishments.
Terry is survived by his wife, Betty of Idaho Falls; sister, Sharon Nixon of Idaho Falls; daughter, Jeanne (Royce) Larsen of Fruitland, Idaho; and sons, Tony (Eva) Gardner, Mark (Deitra) Gardner and Hal (Iola) Blake, all of Idaho Falls. He has 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Jay, Garry and Dennis; two sisters, Jacqueline and Diane; and a son, Dayle Blake.
His family would like to a send a special thank you to the staff at the Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Department of Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Terry had a special motto he gave them, "You take medicine to stay alive; you exercise to live." They have it posted on their wall.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 8, at Wood Funeral Home Chapel of the Pines, 273 N. Ridge Ave., with Bishop James Durrant officiating. The family will visit with friends from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Monday. Burial will be in Fielding Memorial Park Cemetery. Terry will be honored by the Idaho Falls Firefighters Pipes and Drums.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com.