Loyde P. Gardner…October 13, 1919 – January 5, 2016

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Funeral services for Loyde P. Gardner will be held on Monday, January 11, 2016 at 10am at the First United Methodist Church h in Las Animas, Colorado. Burial will follow at the Bent/Las Animas Cemetery in Las Animas, CO.  Horber Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Loyde Philip Gardner was born on October 13, 1919 at home north of Wiley, Colorado to Emma (Reyher) and Philip Gardner. He passed away at his home near Las Animas, Colorado on January 5, 2016.

As a boy Loyde and his parents farmed in Wiley, Colorado, later moving to Center, Colorado where they grew potatoes. Much of the farming was done by teams of horses and mules. Because of the poor prices, they left an entire harvested potato crop and headed to California, camping in a tent along the way. Next, they moved to Oregon where they operated a grocery store and a motel. The family returned to Colorado to farm in Horse Creek where Loyde attended school up until his 8th grade year.

Loyde joined the Army at the beginning of WWII.  After boot camp, he was assigned to the1st Calvary 99th Battalion, traveling across the US with a train load of mules and soldiers. He received additional training at Camp Hale near Leadville, Colorado in the winter, and was sent off to defend our country in the South Pacific. While in the service, Loyde’s decorations and citations included the Good Conduct Medal, American Service Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 2 Bronze Service Stars, and Bronze Service Arrowhead Pacific Theater.  Upon returning from the war, Loyde married his forever love, Fontella Dunavin on December 17, 1945, and to this union, 8 children were born. Loyde and Fontella recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Loyde was a very accomplished farmer. He farmed in the Keller Community, Southeast of Las Animas, Colorado, raising watermelons, cantaloupes, chickens, sheep, cattle, hay, sugar beets, vegetables, corn, wheat, and cleaned alfalfa seed.  He also did custom combining and land leveling.  He improved irrigation practices and the land.  Among his many accomplishments, Loyde was selected Top Conservationist in 1984, voted Farm Family of the year in 1990, and Grand Marshall of the Santa Fe Trail Day Parade in 2012 along with Fontella. He served many years on the Consolidated Extension Water Board, was a 4-H Tractor Leader, and was instrumental in obtaining the 1st Calvary Division Memorial on Highway 10.

Loyde enjoyed fishing, boating, dancing, singing, reading/writing stories, and sharing memories with his friends and family. He was proud of his family and their hard work. Many people who had worked on the Gardner farm came back and told them they had  positively impacted their lives by instilling good decision making, the importance of being honest, working hard, and loving your country.

Loyde is survived by his loving wife, Fontella (Dunavin) Gardner; children; Donna (Kenneth) Dodson, Alvin “Bud” (Linda) Gardner, Peggy (Raymond) Fritz, Glenda (George) Yarnell, Earl (Annette) Gardner, Larry (Gayle) Gardner, Pam Reyher, David (Stephanie) Gardner; 17 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; and 2 great-great grandchildren.

Loyde was preceded in death by his parents, Philip and Emma Gardner; brother, Roy Gardner; infant sister, Helen Gardner; and grandson, Joshua Gardner.

Loyde will be deeply missed by his wife, family, many friends, and neighbors.

God bless you, Loyde and may the angels carry you to your new home.

Memorial contributions may be made in Loyde’s honor to The Josh Gardner Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of Horber Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 431, Las Animas, CO, 81054.

For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit http://www.horberfuneralchapel.com

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