Obituary: Charles “Bob” Gardner

August 5, 1931 - February 9, 2023
Charles “Bob” Gardner was born in San Antonio, Texas on August 5, 1931
Posted at 12:13 PM, Feb 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-13 14:15:05-05

Charles “Bob” Gardner, 91, joined his wife in heaven on February 9, 2023. He was born in San Antonio, Texas on August 5, 1931, to Dora and Aubrey Gardner. In 1949, he joined the Air Force and was stationed in Great Falls, MT at the age of 18. He grew to love Montana, the scenic mountains, clear rivers and streams. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and camping with his family and great friends.

Bob met a special girl while at a USO dance. Margaret “Tootsie” Vik was crowned the Queen of the dance and she was instructed to draw a man’s name out of a hat to be crowned her King. She drew Bob’s name. He always said he was the luckiest airman that night. They were married for 66 years before Tootsie’s passing in 2019. Together, they raised two daughters and a son.

Bob worked over 30 years for Western Union. He was a talented electrician and machinist. Bob and Tootsie decided to retire the same day in 1986. He made sure he retired one hour before her so he could say he retired first! He also worked a couple years at D.A. Davidson as a maintenance man. There was nothing he could not build or repair. He truly enjoyed that employment and the wonderful people he met.

Bob and Tootsie were fortunate to spend 23 winters in San Antonio after retirement. There, they met incredible, lifelong friends. His love for Texas was very evident in the many family trips we took as children. We knew our grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and relatives as well as we knew our Montana family. He made sure of that.

He lived his remaining years at the Bee Hive Assisted Living in Great Falls. We are truly thankful for sweet Shelby and the special caregivers he had.

He is survived by his three children, Louann (Harry) Wolfchief of Missoula, MT, Peggy (Tim) Reynolds of Park City, MT, and Larry (Vicki) Gardner of Deer Park, WA; and many other beloved family members and friends. To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the Schnider Funeral Home website.