amherst memorial service

Dr. Joseph (Joe) Arthur Fredrick Gardner

Dr. Joseph (Joe) Arthur Fredrick Gardner, PhD. O.C.


Obituary for Dr. Joseph (Joe) Arthur Fredrick Gardner, PhD. O.C.

August 17, 1919 – September 6, 2020

Joe Passed away in his sleep on Sunday September 06 a little more than a year after we all celebrated his 100th Birthday. He was born on August 17, 1919 in Nakusp BC. He attended a one room school there and grew up with a large family (he was the youngest of 9).

He left Nakusp to attend The University of British Columbia (UBC) which involved a boat (paddle wheeler) ride to Revelstoke and the Train (CPR) to Vancouver. He stayed with his older sister Amy and Uncle Walter. He earned his BSc and MSc in Chemistry there before going on to McGill and earning his PHD in Organic Chemistry focused on Lignin in 1944. He met Joyce at UBC they married in Montreal and after graduation they moved to Cornwall Ontario to work at the Pulp Mill. Son Joe was born in in Cornwall in 1946 and Daughter Mary in Vancouver in 1948.

His next posting was the Federal Forest Products laboratory at UBC where he eventually became the Superintendent!

The Big Change occurred in 1965 when he was appointed Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at UBC from 1965-1983. Not a trained forester, but a scientist with knowledge in pulp and paper he was an unlikely choice to many of his colleagues. But this unlikely candidate had a great vision for the school. He broadened the scope of classes offered to include topics such as conservation, wildlife management, and ecology. He inaugurated programming that proactively encouraged and recruited women to enroll in Forestry, foresight that lead to a female student population of over 40% in 2008.

His work in Forestry education resulted in his award to the Order of Canada in 1993!

He is survived by his son Joe (Sam) and daughter Mary. Granddaughters Taylor-Jane, Grandson’s Michael (Amy), Matt (Jayme) and Scott. Great Granddaughter Mia and Great Grandson’s Tobin, Carter and Riley.

He travelled the world on Forestry business and loved to Ski, Golf, play tennis, go fishing and of course regular trips back to Nakusp for family gatherings and visits!

This gentle man requested no service, but the family will gather at a later date in Nakusp to spread his ashes!

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Dignity. Respect. Simplicity.