Teryl passed away on February 27, 2023 at his home in Taylorsville, Utah at the age of 68. He will be dearly missed. Teryl was born on October 1, 1954 to Clyde Wayne Gardner and Afton Donaldson in Hawthorne, Nevada. In Teryl's early years, his father's Navy career took his growing family to Florida, Georgia, and Rhode Island. The family settled in Grand Junction, Colorado in 1961.
Teryl was a tinkerer, even as a child. He took things apart, studied them, and sometimes succeeded in putting them back together. That spirit led him to become an amateur radio operator, pyrotechnician (putting on his own firework shows), and do-it-yourself electrician. He also loved scouting and earned his Eagle Scout award.
Teryl served an LDS mission in Lima, Peru where he grew to love the Peruvian people and the Spanish language. He enjoyed connecting with the Spanish-speaking community throughout his life and encouraged his children to learn the language as well.
He attended Mesa College, Brigham Young University, and Utah Technical College (SLCC) where he studied Spanish and electricity. He met his wife, Paula Kimball, in a student ward at BYU, and in 1981 they were married in the Salt Lake Temple. After beginning their family in the University area of Salt Lake City, Utah, they built a home in Taylorsville on which he did the electrical wiring and much of the construction work. Together, they raised 8 children.
Teryl supported his family running a mobile locksmithing business out of his car, in addition to maintaining several rental properties. When he wasn't picking locks or remodeling apartments. He enjoyed playing the piano, the organ, and the accordion, listening to his favorite 60s and 70s music, and watching Star Trek. He had a backhoe that he put to good use, whether building a backyard greenhouse, helping a neighbor remove a tree stump, or giving the kids a ride in the front bucket. He valued frugality and saved money by finding bargains on food at the NPS store and wearing clothes from DI. He didn't care for expensive things or faraway vacations, instead finding joy and purpose at home, in his work and in serving others.
Teryl planted a large garden each year and maintained an orchard of apple, pear, cherry, plum, apricot, and peach trees. He enjoyed sharing the fruits of his labor, and envisioned friends and neighbors using and enjoying the space together. He was at his happiest when he was fixing problems and devising unconventional or self-proclaimed "redneck" solutions. His improvisations usually worked out and, when they didn't, always made for a good story.
Teryl was deeply committed to his faith and loved delving into LDS church history and apologetics, happily sharing what he learned any chance he got. He served in many callings, including gospel doctrine teacher, counselor in the Sunday School, and pianist. In addition to his community and family responsibilities, Teryl was always looking for ways to use his locksmithing and handyman skills to help others. Those close to Teryl knew and loved him for his quirky sense of humor and the service he gave so willingly.
Teryl was preceded in death by his parents Clyde Wayne Gardner and Afton Donaldson and his brother Marlin. He is survived by his wife Paula Kimball Gardner and his eight children: Emily Robbins (Cody), Aubrey Scott (Dave), Ann Gardner, Darren Gardner, Amanda Balmforth (Colton), Joel Gardner, Melissa Gardner, and Karl Gardner. He is also survived by twelve grandchildren and seven siblings: Wayne, Shanon, Rowan, Alison, Lanier, Bryant, and Jared.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, March 4th, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the LDS chapel at 5980 South 1300 West in Taylorsville, Utah.