TOPSHAM – Rodney J. Gardner, died peacefully at his home, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. Born in Northern Maine at the end of a crosscut saw, Rodney Gardner lived a simple life full of stories, integrity, and love. He was born to Lee and Pearl (McBreairty) Gardner Sr. in Allagash, the sixth of 14 children.
His life in Allagash revolved around the woods and the river running through them. After attending the one room schoolhouse through the sixth grade, Rodney worked in the woods staying at lumber camps and out-smarting the game wardens. It was not until Uncle Sam drafted him during the Korean War that he left Maine for the first time. While with the 3rd Armored Division, Company B, 86th Heavy Tank Bn., Rodney operated a tank before knowing how to drive a car.
Shortly after being released from active duty, Rodney married Dorothy Underhill. They had four children while living in northern Maine, and after moving to Topsham in 1968, they had two more children. He was employed by the Army Corp. of Engineers and BIW.
Rodney enjoyed hunting and fishing, and he hated fixing cars. His family enjoyed listening to his tales about his childhood and that little village he loved.
Though not a perfect man, Rodney’s family never doubted he loved them and would do anything for them. He taught them wisdom is not from a formal education, love and forgiveness are the greatest gifts, and a moose call is made with a tin can and a shoe lace.
Rodney was predeceased by a daughter, Vanessa Gardner Wood; and brothers, Lee Gardner Jr., John Gardner, Dwight Gardner, and Warren Gardner; and a sister, Sarah Gardner. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Dorothy Underhill Gardner of Topsham; mother-in-law, Cora Johnson of Topsham; children, Peter and Dianne Gardner of Hayden, Idaho, Laurie and Deroy Hale of Topsham, Rebekah and Craig Herl of Parma, Mich., Jennifer and Dwight Balser of Topsham, and Timothy and Carre Gardner of Portland; brothers, Roy and Maude Gardner of Allagash, Llewellyn Gardner of St. Francis, Bryden Gardner of Bangor, Thomas and Joyce Gardner of East Corinth, and Perry and Joyce Gardner of Brewer; sisters, Lucinda and Mike Crawford of Allagash, Phyllis and Frank Craig of Brewer, and Linda Gardner of Allagash; 19 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.
Rodney’s presence will be missed, but there is comfort knowing he is reunited with loved ones, and that he is with his God and Father in Heaven.
A funeral service is being held 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, at Berean Baptist Church, 15 Cumberland St., Brunswick, with the Rev. Mark Rockwood officiating. Condolences and memories can be expressed at www.brackettfuneralhome.com.