ESCANABA - Lester Joseph Gardner, 93, passed away peacefully Friday evening, Sept. 14, 2012, at the Christian Park Village in Escanaba.
Lester was born Aug. 17, 1919, in Escanaba, the son of William and Lillian (Miron) Gardner. He was raised in Escanaba and attended St. Anne Catholic School.
On Aug. 5, 1942, Lester enlisted in the United States Army where he served with Company C 2829th Engineers Combat Battalion, throughout Europe, during World War II. During his enlistment, Lester received medals of accommodation which included the Bronze Service Arrowhead, Good Conduct Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Ribbon.
Lester Joseph Gardner
Upon his honorable discharge in November of 1945, Lester returned home to Escanaba and eventually acquired a position as a color plant operator at Mead Paper.
On Dec. 29, 1951, Lester was united in marriage to the former Jane Anderson, at St. Thomas Church in Escanaba, and together the couple made their home, raised their family and spent their entire life together in Escanaba.
Lester retired from Mead Paper in 1983 following 38 years of employment. Lester enjoyed hunting, fishing and simply enjoying the outdoors. In addition, he loved spending time with his loving family, especially his grandchildren. He will be deeply missed.
Survivors include Lester's wife, Jane Gardner; daughters, Debbie (Greg) Curran of Escanaba, Yvonne Marie Gardner of Escanaba, Becky (Todd) Dubord of Danforth; sisters, Mabel Breitenbach of Escanaba, Lorraine "Lori" DeMars of Escanaba. Also listed among the surviving family are six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Lester was preceded in death by his parents, William and Lillian; and sisters, Irene and Sr. Cordell.
Family will receive friends on Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Skradski Family Funeral Home in Escanaba. Funeral services to celebrate the life of Lester Joseph Gardner will follow visiting hours at 5 p.m. at the Skradski Funeral Home in Escanaba with Rev. Fr. Rick Courier of the St. Thomas Church officiating. Luncheon will follow funeral services at St. Thomas Church Parish Hall.
Lester will be laid to rest in the Gardens of Rest Cemetery in Wells.
The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting the Gardner family with arrangements. Messages of condolence to Lester's family may be offered online at www.skradskifuneralhomes.com.