Our beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather Irvin Gardner returned home peacefully on December 5, 2023 due to heart failure.
Irv was born to loving parents, Lamar Joseph Gardner and Helen Ila Russell, on November 9, 1937 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He grew up in the East Millcreek area close to many relatives who were descendants of early pioneer settlers. As the oldest of five siblings, he was a great example of hard work, valiant faith, and endless love from his early years through the end of his mortal journey.
Throughout his life, Irv continually showed a love for others. He always strived to do what was right. He excelled in school and was a natural leader in seminary and institute. He served an honorable mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Spanish American Mission. Irv developed a great love for all whom he served and worked with, maintaining relationships with many of them. He used the Spanish language throughout his life.
While in pursuit of his business degree at the University of Utah, Irv met and married Annette Hansen in 1961. They are the parents of five children who were raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. They have been greatly blessed by his love and example. They were later divorced, and Irv married his dear wife, Patricia Hedden, in 1987. In doing so, he added another four children whom he loved as his own.
As a young man, Irv worked with his father in the optical business. Shortly after finishing his degree, he took ownership of one of three Gardner Optical locations. He developed many friends and loyal patients who trusted him and his associates with fitting glasses and contact lenses. He was also a leader in state and national eyecare dispenser societies where his expertise was recognized.
Irv has always had a great love for the House of the Lord. He served as a veil worker and ordinance worker in the Salt Lake City Temple for almost four decades. After retirement, he and Pat served in the Lima Peru Temple for 18 months, and he served in the Mesa and Gilbert, Arizona temples for the past 25 years.
Irv and Pat have been blessed to live in the warmth of the Arizona sun since retiring. The warm climate has allowed him to master his botanical talents and grow and maintain all varieties of trees, shrubs, and other plants. They have made great friends with neighbors, church members, and everyone they have met. We will always admire his great love of learning and the kindness he showed others through his service.
Irv is survived by his loving wife Patricia, sister Evelyn Jacks, brother Scott Gardner, and brothers-in-law Robert Hedden and Vagn Gerlach, children Jeff (Sherrie) Gardner, Dan (Barb) Gardner, Julie (Gordon) Poulson, Jerilyn (David) Santos, Darin (Kristi) Gardner, Lori (David) Turner, Amy (Ron) DeLong, Jana (Bart) Catmull, Kent (Kae) Rasband, 41 grandchildren and 29 (and increasing) great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law, sister Jeniel Gerlach, and brother Lorin Gardner.
Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Saturday, December 16th in the Gilbert 3rd Ward Chapel at 495 S Greenfield Road. Friends and family are invited to a short visitation from 10 am to 10:45 am preceding the funeral services. Interment will take place in the Mesa Cemetery. Bunker Family Funeral Home University Chapel will be assisting with funeral arrangements. Live streaming of the funeral will be available at https://youtube.com/live/OP8FLDpgMx8?feature=share
Arrangements by Bunker’s University Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.