He was born Nov. 16, 1931, in Goshen, Utah to Neldon Rogers Gardner and Wylma Emily Jermain.
Nick, as he was better known to family and friends, served in the Army 2nd Infantry Division 23rd Regiment. He saw combat in the Korea-Wonju and Naktong River. He was honorably discharged in 1951 as corporal. Upon returning home, he met and fell in love with Norma Jean Ross. They married and had four children, Ruth, Karen, Kerry and Ron.
Nick was a civil engineer at Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. His job brought him to Fort Greely. He loved Alaska, and later moved to Delta Junction where he opened Nick’s Automotive, a small radiator and body shop. He was active in the Delta Brush Benders Snowmobile Club, Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club and American Legion.
Nick loved traveling and seeing new places, meeting new people and making many friends along the way. He was a social butterfly and loved the stories that people would share. He was always ready to jump in his car or van and see new places. If people were willing, he would try to convince them to come along on his trips.
He taught auto body at a community College in Oregon, co-owned M&G Body and Paint in Texas, and worked heavy equipment claims adjusting in Colorado and Utah. In all of his traveling, there was one place his heart was drawn to most. This was Alaska, the “Land of the Midnight Sun.” He eventually moved back to Alaska, where he wanted to live out his dreams of being near his children, and building a simple log cabin. Simple was an exaggeration of the truth since he was so detail oriented. He loved details and his craftsmanship showed this. He settled in the quaint little town of Delta Junction and built his log cabin, worked on his beautiful wood hobbies, fished, socialized with friends at the Moose Lodge 911 where he was a member, and, of course, had his daily coffee at numerous places in town.
Nick is survived by his brother, Ed Jasperson, of Ennis, Montana, and his sister, Connie Crews, of Goshen, Utah; his two daughters, Ruth Edwards, of Fairbanks, and Karen (David) Sutherland, of Delta Junction; his two sons, Kerry (Lara) Gardner and Ron (Karen) Gardner, of Delta Junction; 11 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, two great-great-granddaughters, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A private graveside service will be held for family members at Resthaven Cemetary in Delta Junction.
There will be a celebration of life at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at the Moose Lodge 911 off Jack Warren Road in Delta Junction.