Obituary Condolences

Wilford Robert Gardner 1925 ~ 2011 Dr. Wilford Robert Gardner, 85, passed away at his home in Mapleton, Utah on May 20, 2011.Wilford was born October 19, 1925 to Robert and Nellie Barker Gardner in Logan, Utah. He is a veteran of World War ll and served with the Army Corps of Engineers in the European and Pacific Theatres of Operation. He married Marjorie Louise Cole on June 9, 1949 in the Logan Temple. Wilford earned his Bachelor of Science from Utah State University in 1949, during which time he also performed as a flutist in several musical ensembles including a woodwind quintet. He went on to complete a Master of Science degree in soils physics and a Ph.D. in soil physics and mathematics at Iowa State University, where he worked under Professor Don Kirkham, the foremost soil physicist of the day. After completion of his doctorate he accepted a research position at the U.S. Salinity Laboratory in Riverside, California where he worked closely with L.A. Richards. Subsequently he received a professorship at the University of Wisconsin where he taught from 1966 through 1980. During this time he served as a Senior Fulbright Fellow and in 1972 was awarded the Medal of Honor by the University of Ghent, Belgium. In 1980 he accepted a position at the University of Arizona as head of the department of Soil and Water Science. From 1987 and 1994, he served as Dean of the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley. During his tenure at Berkeley he also served as Bishop of the Richmond 1st Ward. Over the course of his career, he published over 140 books, chapters, and scholarly articles. He served as an active member of many associations devoted to soil science, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Agronomy, the International Soil Science Society, the Soil Science Society of America, the Water Science and Technology Board of the NRC. He was the first USU graduate to be elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. He was the president of the physics committee for the International Soil Science Society, head of the delegation to International Union of Soil Science, chair of the United States National Committee for Soil Science, and served as president of the Soil Science Society of America. Wilford is survived by his wife Marjorie, his brother Herbert, his sister Ellen, his son Robert (Rumi) Gardner, daughter Caroline (Micheal) Cobia, 13 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter Patricia. A viewing will be held on Monday, May 23, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Wheeler Mortuary, 82 West 400 North, Mapleton, UT. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 1 p.m. at the Dry Canyon Ward LDS building, 1350 Eastridge Drive, Logan, UT. A viewing will be held one hour prior to services. Burial will be in the Logan City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Perpetual Education Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Condolences may be sent at

Published in Salt Lake Tribune on May 22, 2011
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