Athel Marion GardnerAugust 13, 1939 ~ February 10, 2017 (age 77)
Sherman, TX/Formerly of Monroe
Athel Marion Gardner passed away February 10, 2017 in Denison, TX. He was born on August 13, 1939, in Kanab to Merritt and Verl Gardner.
Athel grew up in Monroe, Utah, where he learned the ethic of hard work from his father, who was a cowboy. He served as a protective brother to his siblings. At a young age, Athel developed a love for the outdoors, especially the mountains surrounding his home. He liked to look for rocks and arrowheads, and at home he enjoyed playing cowboys and Indians in the barn and stomping snow to make a sled run in the winter. As Athel grew older he liked to fish and hunt along the old canal and especially liked shooting rabbits south of town.
After high school, Athel attended Utah State University. The nearby mountains helped him feel at home and he went to the mountains as often as possible to hike and enjoy nature. Athel excelled academically and graduated with a degree in Science and Electrical Engineering. He began working for the Bureau of Reclamation in Salt Lake City, which in 1962 led him to his career building air defense systems in airplanes with Hughes Aircraft. His career allowed him to pursue his passion for travel, and he saw as much of the world as he could, especially World War historic sites.
Athel moved to Fullerton, California for three months, not realizing how it would impact his life. He then moved to Korea for 21 months and while there, he met Gordon B. Hinckley, future prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then an Apostle. Elder Hinckley counseled Athel: "Don't marry any of the girls out here; there's one waiting for you back home." After traveling back to the United States, as well as to England, Turkey, and Italy, Athel returned to Fullerton to teach Swiss students how to maintain computers. Here he met Christine Scott at a church fireside and their attachment became strong. When he moved to Japan, they corresponded faithfully. Their love grew and in time Christine received an extra special letter in the mail, a letter of engagement. Athel returned to his sweet Chris in California, received permission from her parents to take her to Utah to meet his parents, and while in Monroe by the hot springs on the north end of town, he proposed with a ring.
Athel married Christine Jean Scott in the Los Angeles California Temple on February 10, 1968, beginning a 49-year journey of purest love and complete devotion. They began their marriage living in Switzerland and Germany. They then returned to the US to raise their family of six children. Together they have traveled numerous places, creating everlasting memories wherever they went.
Athel was known for his kind and generous heart and willingness to help anyone in need, especially family members. He took great care of his aging parents, driving from California to Monroe to take his dad to doctor appointments and visit as often as possible. He also cared for his in-laws as if they were his own. He served faithfully as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints his entire life, giving his all to fulfill various callings. No calling has ever meant more to him than that of husband and father. He worked tirelessly with Chris to help their posterity gain deeply rooted faith in Jesus Christ. He presided over his family in love and righteousness and provided every necessity of life and protection for us.
From Athel, we learned lessons of endless sacrifice, selflessness, willingness to give, and love, and his influence will continue to teach us throughout our lives. We will honor our sweet
companion, father, and grandfather by living our lives in the way he taught through his example.
Athel is survived by his wife; children: Daniel (Lynne) Gardner, Stephanie (John) Ayala, Benjamin Gardner, Rebecca (James) Craig, Jennifer Kahl, Catherine (Branden) Ford; 18 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter.
Preceded in death by his parents and siblings: Brent and Gwendolyn.
Funeral services will be held Friday, February 24, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. in the Monroe 5th Ward Chapel, 140 South Main. Friends may call Thursday from 6-8 at the Magleby Mortuary in Richfield, and Friday at the ward chapel in Monroe from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in the Monroe City Cemetery. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com