Ben Gardner was born 95 years ago in Brookings, Oregon to the pioneer Gardner family that settled Pistol River, Oregon. He was raised on the Gardner Ranch 8 miles up Pistol River. He attended a one room school and learned to hunt, fish, farm, and ranch as a youngster; which taught him valuable traits he used his entire life. He served his country during World War II in France and Central Europe and was a proud veteran.
He married Lola Monroe, the love of his life, in 1954 and they enjoyed ranching, traveling, going to plays, and becoming known worldwide for their expertise in the heather plant industry. They built their home in Pistol River in the sand dunes. They produced acres of beautiful heather gardens in their less than perfect soil and enjoyed giving garden tours.
After years of cattle ranching, he retired. He was a consummate story teller, loved classical music, an avid reader of all literature, did not own a television, and lived to help others, mentoring many youngsters.
Born with a curious mind he had interest in geology, history, and science. The last book he read was on Steven Hawkings theories; And he did disagree with some of them.
Ben is preceded in death by parents Harley and Ruby Gardner (Purdin), wife Lola, brother Raleigh Gardner, and sister Rose Gardner (Walker).
He is survived by many nephews, nieces, cousins, and dear friends worldwide. The family wishes to thank local hospice workers and Curry General Hospital for their efforts the last few months.
A memorial is planned for later this year when appropriate. Contributions to the local historical society in lieu of flowers would be appreciated.