Dr. Robert David Gardner 39, of Afton Wyoming, passed away in his home on October 23, 2019. Robert was born on November 7, 1979, to O.D. and Shirley Gardner.
From his early childhood, Robert was an active and energetic learner. He had so much energy and enthusiasm for life, he could hardly be contained in a classroom chair. As he grew, he learned to harness that energy and turned it into a love of science.
Robert obtained his bachelor's and master's degree in Biological Engineering from Utah State University. While living in Logan, he relished his work in rocket fuels with ATK Thiokol. He expanded his studies at Montana State University and completed his Doctorate in Chemical Engineering in 2012. Robert's passion was to help others increase their understanding of science, especially through teaching. He was passionate about the environment and dedicated his life’s work to algal biofuel, receiving two patents. He became one of the world’s leading experts in his field of work. He accepted an opportunity to develop a research lab, and instruct courses in renewable energy as a professor for the University of Minnesota.
Robert loved his family and friends. His world was made brighter by his daughter, Korey, who he called “Little Star.” He loved cooking. He enjoyed perfecting recipes and cooking for the ones he loved. He especially enjoyed their company, around a campfire, in the crisp mountain air. He cherished time camping, fishing, and floating the Madison River. A born and bred Wyoming man, nothing brought a bigger smile to Robert’s face than taking an axe to a tree in the mountains for firewood.
He was preceded in death by his father O.D. Gardner and survived by his mother Shirley Gardner, daughter Patrica Korey Jackson, siblings Lance (Darlene) Gardner, Lindsay (Erin) Gardner, Mary Ann (Cory) Allmaras, Randy (Kara) Gardner, Kris (Greg) Hinton, and ex-wife Carolyn Haynie and her son Braydon.
A viewing will be held on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, at Schwab Mortuary, in Afton, Wyoming from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Memorial service will be held on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, at noon.