Cover photo for Vernon L. “Dusty” Gardner's Obituary
Vernon L. “Dusty” Gardner Profile Photo
1926 Vernon 2004

Vernon L. “Dusty” Gardner

September 9, 1926 — November 27, 2004

Vernon L. “Dusty” Gardner, 78, a lifetime Marshall County resident living at 4710 Deborah Lane, Plymouth, since 1962, has died. Vern died at 4:40 a.m. on Saturday, November 27, 2004, in Pilgrim Manor Care Center, Plymouth. He suffered from a cancer-related illness and was a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease for the past year.

Born in Argos, Ind., on September 9, 1926, he the son of Ben I. and Blanche Sponseller Gardner. He attended Argos schools.

Vern served in the Korean Conflict from September 1950 through June 1952. A heavy equipment operator, he was a Sgt. T4 with the 323rd Engineers and was awarded the Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Stars.

On May 23, 1953, Vern and Alice M. Pelkey were married in Hamlet, Ind. Alice died on December 27, 1985.

A lifetime heavy equipment operator, Vern worked for Midwest Operating Engineers, Union Local 150. He worked on numerous construction projects throughout this area, including the building of new U.S. 30 and 31. He worked as far away as New York State following an extremely dangerous winter storm to help re-open highways closed due to heavy snow.

He loved fishing and collecting antiques, especially still banks. He enjoyed traveling and following his retirement, he was frequently off on camping trips. An NBA fan, Michael Jordon was one of his favorite players.

A member of the National Rifle Association, the Knox Masonic Lodge #639, the V.F.W. #1162, Vern also was a member of the Square Club, a camping organization he came to truly enjoy. Vern is survived by a daughter and a son. His daughter, a resident of Etna Green, Ind., is Rebecca Sue Gardner and his son, now living in Plymouth, is Kevin J. Gardner.

Four grandchildren and their spouses also survive. They are: Pfc. Michael Wilcox serving in Baghdad and his wife, Amanda; Brad and Stephanie Wilcox, Atwood, Ind., and Matthew Wilcox and Allyson Gardner, both of Etna Green, Ind.

Two great-grandchildren survive as well. They are Braxton and Shaylin Wilcox.

A brother, Harold and his wife, Velma Gardner of Argos, also survive.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his spouse.

Visitation will be in the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan St., Plymouth, from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 30, 2004. Masonic Lodge Memorial Rites will be held at 7:30 p.m. that evening in the funeral home.

Funeral services for Vern will be held in the funeral home at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 1, 2004. The V.F.W. Marshall Co. Post 1162 will provide military graveside honors at Fairmont Cemetery, Plymouth.

Memorial gifts may be made in Vern’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Research Fund or the American Cancer Association.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vernon L. “Dusty” Gardner, please visit our flower store.


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