After a trying battle with cancer, Robert Lee Gardner passed away on Monday, April 13, 2020. Robert, or “Bob,” was born to Robert and Patricia in Orcutt, California on March 4, 1952, where he graduated from Righetti High School in 1970. Bob served in the United States Navy from 1970-1974, stationed primarily on Mare Island Naval Base, as a sonar technician on nuclear submarines. After leaving the Navy, Bob moved to Yosemite National Park where he worked in Security and the Village Store while attending Columbia Community College. He later transferred to Allan Hancock Community College where he graduated with an Associates Degree in Fire Science. After a brief stint with the Orcutt Fire Department, he attended one of the first Paramedic Schools in Los Angeles, receiving his certification and then working for American Medical Response as a Paramedic in Santa Barbara. But his life’s dream was fulfilled when he was hired by Santa Barbara City Fire Department in 1980, where he served for thirty years retiring in 2010 as an Engineer. Bob and his wife, Teresa, settled in the Santa Ynez Valley after he retired, where they enjoyed riding horses and wine tasting.
Bob loved living life in the great outdoors, riding motorcycles, listening to classic rock music, and of course a proper shot of tequila! His two greatest loves were his family and Yosemite, where he shared many fond memories.
He is survived by his ever-growing family, and will be dearly missed by his wife Teresa Gardner of Solvang, CA; son Allan Stroming (Mindi) of Springfield, OR; daughter Jessica Self (Hunter) and son Justin Gardner (Tessa) both of Santa Barbara, CA; son Nicholas Mascagno (Maegan) of Anchorage, AK and daughter Tiana Mascagno of Santa Barbara, CA; his three brothers David Medieros (Joy) and Roger Gardner (Marie) of Orcutt, CA; and Guy Gardner (Maggie) of Rathdrum, ID; as well as his many other relatives. Lovingly referred to as “Papa,” his six grandchildren and one great-grandchild will miss his bear hugs dearly; Corey Stroming (Shelby and daughter Cathryn) and Courtney Stroming of Springfield OR; Sawyer Self, Ava and Bo Gardner of Santa Barbara, and Poppy Mascagno of Anchorage, AK.
While Bob was certainly a hero to our community, he was a humble man with a big heart. Life will not be the same without his smile and his playful banter. A celebration of life will be held this summer. In lieu of flowers, our family kindly appreciates donations to the Firefighters Cancer Foundation or our State and National parks.
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