Dr. Harold W. Gardner is survived by his loving wife and best friend, Cheryl Pauli, two daughters, Kelly Gardner, Albuquerque, and Denali Brooke, Albuquerque, three sons, Scott Gardner, Grand Rapids, MI, Dr. Michael Gardner, Portland, OR, and Bryce Gardner, Carlisle, PA, as well as five grandchildren. His parents were Edward J. Gardner and Mildred I. Brougher Gardner.
He served as a Ltjg Naval Officer assigned as Armed Forces Courier Service. As a courier he traveled extensively over the South Pacific and the western U.S. After receiving a PhD in biochemistry at Penn State University, he completed research at the Pineapple Research Institute in Honolulu, at the University of California LA, and the Agricultural Research Service (USDA) in Peoria, IL. Gardner was responsible for biochemical research focused on lipid chemistry, enzymology, free radical chemistry, fungal products, and plant ecology. He published over 120 scientific publications in journals and books. Gardner completed research with scientists in Sweden, The Netherlands, Russia, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Scotland, and England, as well as, University of Wisconsin, University of Kentucky, University of Illinois, Urbana, Texas A&M University, and Arizona State University, Tempe. He spent a year sabbatical in a Nobel Laureate’s Lab in Stockholm. Gardner was Associate Editor of the Journal, Lipids. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the American Society of Plant Biology. In order to preserve river water quality, Gardner assisted in the organization of the Sierra Club to stop the construction of Duplicate Locks on the Illinois River, and with cooperation of the Western Railroad Association the reconstruction of Locks and Dam 26 on the Mississippi River.
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Locks and Dam 26 was stopped for ten years with a lawsuit in Federal Court in Washington DC paid by the railroads. Congress in their infinite wisdom authorized construction of a new Locks and Dam 26, which cost over $3 billion, but for the first time ever barges had to pay fuel taxes for their usage, and The Corps of Engineers agreed to construct environmental projects on the Mississippi. After retirement, Gardner focused on tallgrass prairie restoration. He organized a group called the “Prairie Dawgs,” who volunteered their time to restore quality prairies near Peoria, IL. He improved one original tallgrass prairie north of Brimfield, IL, to the status of official Illinois Nature Preserve designated by Governor Ryan. This property was deeded to Peoria Audubon Society. In 2011 he published a book, Tallgrass Prairie Restoration in the Midwestern and Eastern United States: A Hands-On Guide, Springer, NY. Gardner has written numerous articles on native plants, and in July 2016 he and son, Bryce, presented posters at the North American Prairie Conference in Normal, IL. Gardner has about 70 acres of his privately-owned nature preserve in Pennsylvania. Until health prevented it, he volunteered to maintain the Box Huckleberry Natural Area, and he advised the Penn State Arboretum concerning their prairie project. Gardner served in many positions of the Sierra Club, including the Waterways Taskforce, and the Committee to Save the Rock Island Bicycle Trail. In his spare time, Dr. Gardner enjoyed backpacking, travel, canoeing, and bicycling with his family.
Services and burial will be private. www.EwingBrothers.com.