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GARDNER, Francis William
May 9, 1942 – June 26, 2016
On Sunday, June 26, 2016, Mr. Francis Gardner of Chain Lakes, Alberta passed away suddenly, but peacefully at the age of 74 years. Francis will be missed by his wife Bonnie and their children: Ian, Marshall (Jennifer), and Sarah (Harley). He was blessed with grandchildren: Emmett, Jacob and Liam, as well as numerous other relatives and many friends. A Celebration of his Life will be held on Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. in the Highwood Memorial Centre [128-5th Avenue SW in High River]. If friends so desire, in honor of Francis, donations may be made to the Bomber Command Museum [P.O. Box 1051 Nanton, Alberta T0L 1R0 - 403.646.2270], or the Southern Alberta Land Trust Society [P.O. Box 45016 High River, Alberta T1V 1R7 - 403.652.9998 - www.salts-]. To send condolences and view Francis' Tribute Page, please visit . Caring for the family is Lyle Reeves Funerals of High River (403.652.4242).

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Published in Calgary Herald from Jul. 1 to Jul. 2, 2016.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
November 6, 2017
Today I was thinking about my high school classmate and found that he passed away over one year ago. Our late but special condolences to Bonnie and family. Pat and Ardyce Worsley
Patrick Worsley
July 4, 2016
Francis was always willing to put a pot of coffee on or share a meal with old friends or a new one in the making. He was proud of his family and his family ranch. Ranch hospitality was always paramount. He enjoyed people who shared his passion of the ranch environment.
Francis treated his employees with respect and generosity. Over the six years I worked for him, he was a fair boss, willing to share his philosophies, stories and experiences. When cattle prices were low and he could not afford to give a raise, he would let me keep a few extra horses of my own or give me two breed heifers for a bonus.
Once you earned his trust, he would give you all the freedom an employee could ask, but still made you part of the family.
Francis was never lured by high production and profit mind-set, - he wasn't greedy or selfish. He would never jeopardize his ranch environment. The ranch had reserve when drought hit, and it rewarded the rancher when it mattered most.
Francis. May you rest in a place where tall grass grows and water runs cool and clean. Just like your legacy. Hats off to Francis Gardner.

Heinz Hess.
Heinz Hess
July 3, 2016
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Reg & Jane Norby
July 3, 2016
Francis was a university classmate and a good friend. My late wife Daisy and I camped by the creek near the ranch house a few times in the early 70s, and then during the 70s and 80s when I was on the road quite a bit I would stop by the Gardner place any time I was in the area.
We had many deep conversations about the land (we were both lovers of the earth), and about spirituality as we were both kindred spirits that way as well.
Francis loved music too, and occasionally we would sit down with our guitars and pick a few tunes.
Francis was a man of many talents and interests, a great friend and colleague, and I will miss him.
Happy trails, old friend.
Noel McNaughton
July 2, 2016
Saddened to hear of the passing of Francis! I first met Francis and Bonnie and at that time their two very young sons back in 1977 when I was a young Forest Ranger at the Turner Valley Ranger station. Just being new to the area was intimidating enough and meeting one of the local legends at that time really set my stomach churning. However all that changed very quickly as I was welcomed into their beautiful ranch house nestled in the shadow of Mt. Sentinel. Francis quickly put me at ease and started my foothills cattle grazing education! His Dad had been putting cattle into the Forest Reserve since before I was born and Francis was continuing the cycle. The highlights of my working time in the area were days spent counting cattle in at springtime and out of the forest reserve in the fall. In summer I spent many days riding the back country with Francis and his hired hand at the time. When I was transferred to High Level in 1980, I deeply regretted leaving the area and my friendship with Francis. In 1982, we did return to the area and I did return to Mt Sentinel and renew my friendship with the Gardeners. The next few years created more great memories as Francis allowed my son Craig and I the privilege to hunt with bow and arrow on his land. Always helping ou,t Francis let us use the bunkhouse during snowy falls and helped in recovering game. Craig and I will never forget our special times at the Mt Sentinel Ranch nor will we forget Francis Gardner - a true gentleman and outstanding human being! Rest in peace!

Herb DeMars
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
July 1, 2016
I had a chance meeting with Francis several years ago. It had to do with a large barn. But what I took away from the meeting that was here was a man strongly committed to the land. Especially the native prairie grass. I have never forgot him and the lasting impression he left on me. Each time I drive past the Gardener place on Hwy 22 I remember what a devoted custodian of our land he was. RIP Francis
David Evans
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