Dennis Gardner was born on January 4, 1931 in Loughton, Essex County, England and was one of three sons born to William John and Ann Elizabeth Gardner. Dennis passed away on April 3, 2019 at the age of 88. He is survived by his daughter Melanie Yvonne Agnew and her husband Glenn R. Agnew, sister in law Jennifer Cuddeford of England and nieces and nephews.
Dennis was eight when World War II broke out. He spoke about the Blitz which began in September 1940 and ended in May 1941 where day light bombings and night raids continued for 57 nights. He remembered seeing the destruction in London and being strafed on the playground at school. The children were referred to as "Blitz Kids."
When Dennis was 15 he began a seven year apprenticeship at the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts to become a printer. He studied and trained at the Solicitors' Law Stationers' Society.
In 1949 he was drafted into Britain's National Service and joined the Royal Navy where he trained to become a telegrapher; learning how to transmit, receive and decode morse code messages. He was assigned to the frigate H.M.S. Leeds Castle, an anti-submarine detection vessel. While serving he was involved in the unsuccessful attempt to rescue the submarine H.M.S. Affray. The Royal Navy offered him a promotion if he reenlisted, but he chose not to and was honorably discharged after his two years of service.
Dennis returned to his apprenticeship and became a compositor/monotype operator and a member of the London Society of Compositors in 1953 and worked for the London Times from 1954 to 1957.
He married the love of his life, Yvonne Penn, on June 12, 1954 and on April 18, 1957 Yvonne and Dennis left England and came to the United States on the Queen Mary which docked in New York City on April 23, 1957. In 1961, their daughter Melanie was born. Dennis worked as a printer in New York and New Jersey until 1963 when they moved to New Mexico. He began working at the Albuquerque Publishing Company and worked in various departments throughout his career which afforded him the knowledge of knowing all of the equipment and how it operated. He remained there for over 40 years and retired in 2004.
Dennis was a man of integrity with a heart full of love and compassion. He always thought of others before himself. He was the best husband and friend you could ask for and I was lucky enough to know him as Dad. My dad, who was always there for me, was a master craftsman and a perfectionist who could build, fix or make anything. He had a technical mind and was interested in gadgets and how things were made and worked. He enjoyed using excel spreadsheets and his IPhone 7. He liked music, was an avid reader and loved Milky Ways and his cat Daisey. His favorite season was the fall and watching the migration of the geese. His smile would light up a room and everybody who met him loved him. Dennis was a true English gentleman.
When Yvonne passed on March 16, 2018, he was heartbroken. They had been married almost 64 years. Dennis missed her so much and said he had lost his soul mate. He spoke fondly of some of their favorite trips to San Francisco, Toronto, Seattle and Red River, NM. While our hearts break for the loss of such a wonderful man, we take comfort in the fact that he has been reunited with the love of his life.
We would like to thank the staff at Presbyterian Hospice for all the loving care they provided at such a difficult time.
A service for Dennis will be held at Daniels Family Funeral Service Wyoming Chapel on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 1:00pm
If you wish, in lieu of flowers, please donate in Dennis' name to Watermelon Mountain Ranch, New Mexico's largest no kill animal shelter, located at 3251Westphalia Loop NE, Rio Rancho, NM 87144.
Watermelon Mountain Ranch
1512 Deborah Rd. SE, Ste 203, Rio Rancho NM 87124