Benjamin Hard Gardner Jr. was born in Norwalk, Conn., on June 21, 1916, but he spent most of his childhood through early adulthood in Columbus, Ohio, attending Ohio State University as a member of the Fiji fraternity.
After graduating college, he entered the Army Air Force, and during a portion of World War II he was stationed in Kodiak, Alaska. He was transferred to St. Louis, Mo., where he married his Seattle sweetheart, Martha Nettleton. Once the war was over, he and Martha moved back to Seattle. In 1955, they moved to Mercer Island, where they lived throughout their married life. Martha preceded Mr. Gardner in death in 1994.
Mr. Gardner loved boating and spent many years traveling and exploring the local waters of Puget Sound, the Washington and Canadian San Juan Islands and Desolation Sound in British Columbia. He had the pleasure of sailing many races throughout the area and loved his experience in 1960 when, on the Trans Pac race from Seattle to Honolulu, he was the chef aboard his beloved “Sea Fever.” He was a member of the Seattle Yacht Club.
Mr. Gardner was an avid golfer and his years spent at the Seattle Golf Club were very special to him, along with all of his many golfing friends. He was extremely proud of the fact that he was part of the oldest foursome at the Seattle Golf Club.
Mr. Gardner was a lumberman by profession, running his family’s business, the Nettleton Lumber Company. He loved the outdoors and loved to share his knowledge of trees with anyone who would listen. He was a member of the National Lumberman’s Association and served as its president for a year. He was an active member of the Young President’s Organization, serving as its president in 1963 and 1964. He also belonged to the World President’s Organization. These associations brought him a great deal of satisfaction.
Mr. Gardner died peacefully at his Covenant Shores home on May 26, 2009, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife, Eleanor Youngs Gardner, and his three children, Sandee Harvey (John), Robert and Ben III; four stepsons, Tom, Bob, Charlie (Karen) and Stan (Julia) Youngs; six grandchildren, J.W. Harvey (Sara), Michelle Harvey Coppula, Sarah Harvey, Elliott Gardner, Ian Gardner and Drew Gardner; and two great-grandchildren, John Wesley Harvey V and Emma Gem Coppula.
Services have been held. Remembrances are suggested to Children’s Hospital in Seattle.