Robert Louis Gardner – August 8, 1930/July 24, 2015

Filed under: Obituaries |

gardnerRobert was born August 8, 1930 to Gladys and Grover Gardner in Elkhart, Texas. He came into the world at a whopping 12 pounds. Five years later, he became big brother to his sister Betty Ann. The two of them were the best of friends. At the age of 10 he gained another little sister, Mary Beth.

Throughout his childhood, Robert (nicknamed “Bud”) loved to run and play outdoors. He always had a dog by his side and it was normally a good hunting dog. He also loved to hunt and fish and explore the wondrous woods of East Texas that surrounded his home. He loved to play sports and was on Elkhart’s best football team in their history.

In the fall of 1953 he met Shirley June Nivens while celebrating the return of his best friend Glenn Brown who had been a POW in Korea. He instantly fell in love with this red haired beauty and they were married June 4, 1954.

Robert and Shirley made their home in Dallas and had their first child Debbie in January of 1956. Three years later, David was born. For eight years, they were a family of four until Melody was born and completed this happy family. Robert’s life was centered around his family. He and Shirley taught Sunday School at East Temple Baptist church. He led David’s youth basketball team for years and was at every high school football game cheering on the team.

Although this country boy had made a life in “the city”, he bought a lake cabin at Big Lake which became a weekend home for the Gardner family. On Friday evenings when he and Shirley got home from work, they’d load up the station wagon and the 5 of them drove to the cabin for the weekend. Robert and David would hunt and fish together and family from nearby Palestine would join them from time to time. There are so many good memories of family gatherings at that lake cabin.

He taught his kids to love nature and being out in the woods or on the water. He helped his kids learn to identify birds by their sound, know the names of all the trees in the woods and how to bait a hook with a good worm. We affectionately learned to love his dove and squirrel feeder that he insisted be placed in the front yard of his home in Duncanville. Robert moved the family to Duncanville in 1973 and have been in the same house for those 42 years. He was a huge supporter of the athletic teams in Duncanville, especially the girls basketball team. Years after David and Melody had graduated, he continued to go to all of the football, basketball and baseball games. He always had on a Duncanville baseball cap and had a “City of Champions” bumper sticker on his truck. At the age of 74 Robert even coached a boys basketball team for his church, First Baptist of Duncanville.

The Gardner home in Duncanville was a family gathering place for Robert’s family and Shirley’s large family. The family can all share in such happy and fun memories of the many get togethers held at their home. The kids were allowed run and play and just be kids. Whether watching a Cowboys football game or ringing in the New Year, the house would be full of family.

Robert loved to tell stories and his story telling was always very animated and filled with his wonderful laugh. He always wore a big smile and had an amazing twinkle in eyes. Those who were around him were always given his full attention and he made them feel important, worthy and loved.

Robert worked for the Dallas Post Office for 40 years. After his retirement, he enjoyed working in his yard, helping his kids with their homes, watching his grandkids play sports, and hunting on his cousin Johnny’s ranch in Camp Wood, TX. Christmas was his favorite holiday and he was the “Clark Griswold” of Madrid Drive for years with his elaborate light displays.

jaynesHe leaves behind a wonderful legacy which includes: His wife Shirley (married 61 years), daughter Debbie, her husband Randy Williams, grandson Jared McCoy, his wife Samantha, great grandsons Tate and Brandt McCoy, son David Gardner, grandchildren Eric Gardner, wife Lindsey, great granddaughter Taylor, grandsons Chris and Dave Gardner, granddaughter Ashley Gardner, daughter Melody Mitchem, granddaughters Lauren and Lindsey Mitchem. He also leaves behind his two sisters Betty Ann Ormsby and Mary Hunt. There are numerous in- laws, cousins, nieces and nephews who will miss him as well.

Services are 10:00 am Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at Jaynes Memorial Chapel.

Interment will follow at Pilgrim Cemetery in Elkhart, Texas.