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David Gray Gardner


1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
David Gray Gardner Obituary
April 11, 1925 - August 26, 2016 David Gray Gardner passed away on the 26th of August following the loss of his wife Barbara Gardner, on the 12th of August. Significant to their lifetime of love and devotion, he passed on their 66th wedding anniversary. David was born in Dawson, Texas on the 11th of April, 1925. In 1939, he moved to Lomita, California to live with his older brother and attended Narbonne High School until he rejoined his family on their arrival in Los Angeles in 1941. He completed his high school education at Manual Arts High School where he wrote the daily sports page for the school paper and excelled in football. Upon being admitted into the U.S. Navy's officer training program, he attended USC where he continued to excel in sports, playing in the 1945 Rose Bowl game with USC beating Tennessee 25-0. In 1946 he graduated with a degree in journalism and a Navy commission. During his term in the U.S. Navy, he eventually became one of the youngest Commanding Officers of the era. He captained a naval ship for Operation Crossroads between 1946 and 1947, serving at Bikini Atoll during the nuclear weapons testings. In 1950 he married his college sweetheart, Barbara LaShelle. Following their marriage and the birth of their first child, he started a printing business with partner Orbie Fulmer, Gardner Fulmer Lithograph, later to become Gardner Lithograph. He was a pioneering lithographer and perfected reproduction techniques that attracted graphic designers, art galleries and museums, and most importantly, famous photographers, including Ansel Adams with whom he developed a lifelong friendship. David had a passion for art and craft and together with his wife Barbara, was deeply involved in the arts. In 1976 he began printing the beautifully designed fine art photography publication Picture Magazine which he eventually took over as publisher in 1979. In 1985 he was responsible for Sam Maloof receiving the MacArthur Foundation grant. Throughout his long and acclaimed career, his contributions to the publishers, designers, photographers and artists with whom he worked culminated in a legendary collection of books and publications. David adored his wife Barbara and was devoted to her as profoundly as was his dedication to his children and grandchildren. He chose to live an artful life, full of humour, intellect, and the passionate pursuit of excellence. He is survived by and greatly missed by his two children, Lincoln Gardner of San Clemente, California and Jean Gardner of Kerikeri, New Zealand and his two grandchildren, Ricca Callis of Beaufort, South Carolina and Gray Gardner of Rancho Santana, Nicaragua.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Nov. 3 to Nov. 6, 2016
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