Cover photo for Dwight Lester Gardner's Obituary
Dwight Lester Gardner Profile Photo
1951 Dwight 2022

Dwight Lester Gardner

August 31, 1951 — April 17, 2022

Dwight Lester Gardner joined our Lord, Easter morning, April 17, 2022. He was born on August 31, 1951 to Ralph Dennis Gardner and Cora Madalin Harrison. He was proceeded in death by his parents, grandparents; 2 brothers, Harrison Dennis Gardner and Harlan Rush Gardner, and his niece, Gabrielle Gardner Lucero.

Survived by his wife Margaret Marie Bauer of 30 years; step daughters Ammerina-Rene Keenan Mestas and Holly Beth Keenan; grandchildren Noah Dean Keenan, Devlan Mestas, and Gatlin Haught; 1 brother Blaine (Mary) Gardner, nieces Janis (Aaron) Vogelsberg and Joanna (Josh) Jones, and his nephew Ian Alexis (Melanie) Gardner aunts and uncles and many many beautiful friends who loved him for his humor – open arms – and generous heart.

He graduated from CCHS where he enjoyed the “Good Ole School Days” as the manager for the football and basketball teams. Later attending Adams State College for 3 years, then moved to Arizona where He worked as food and beverage manager in the hospitality business managing 5* resorts and hotels in the Arizona area. His longest and favorite was the Wigwam Resort in Phoenix.

Moving back to Crowley County in 1990, much time, 18 months, was spent visiting and giving support to the family at the Children’s Hospital in Denver as 9-year-old Ammerina was fighting stage 4 cancer of her kidney, lung and spinal column. After her remission on November 7th, 1992 Dwight married the love of his life Margaret M. Bauer. They spent most of their marriage raising their daughters and building their home in Ordway. They both were involved in many local non profits, Inspiration Field, Women’s resource, they loved 4H programs, and honored him as a 4H Friend of the year, spent 10+ years as the Crowley County Days Fair Board president. Democratic County Chairperson, CCChamber of Commerce president and a person of the year. Served on several Rural Health Boards including Governor appointed (SEMTAC) the State Emergency Medical & Trauma Services Advisory Council Health Department. Active in State and Local Tourisium and Heritage Tourisium, served on the Steering Committee at Southeast Colorado Rural Philamtrophy Days, Action 21, So many more he supported and helped as much as there was time for. It was always a joy to contribute to these organizations because they (Dwight & Margie) worked together. But his most loved job was working as regional Director for US Senator Ken Salazar and US Senator Michael Bennett serving local Colo. Counties.

Dwight began his federal service on 5/3/2007, for U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, serving under two U.S. Senators. Dwight represented the region for U.S. Senator Michael Bennet from 2009 until his retirement in 2020. He was the Regional Director for the 12 Counties in SE Colorado – from Cheyenne County to Baca, and Fremont to Las Animas, Pueblo to Prowers. He was a faithful public servant who respected the land and the farmers, ranchers, and citizens who lived here.

Upon his retirement this statement was offered into the Congressional Record on the floor of the United States Senate. He will be greatly missed.

M. President, I rise to honor the career of Dwight Gardner, as my office announces his retirement as the Regional Director for Southeast Colorado. Dwight has been a tireless advocate for the farmers, ranchers, and communities of Colorado. Over the last decades, he has engaged in the significant issues in the region, from Pueblo to Raton Pass on the New Mexico border, and from the headwaters of the Arkansas River in Leadville, high in the Rockies to Town of Holly in Prowers County at the Kansas border.

Early in his career, Dwight worked alongside his best friend, to support the farmers of the Arkansas Valley as a crop duster. Living through the era of “buy and dry” land purchasing to divert water to meet the needs of a growing Front Range, Dwight understood early the value of advocacy for rural Colorado. In 2000, he was elected to the first of two terms as a Crowley County Commissioner, and in that role was selected as Chairman of the Southern Colorado Economic Development District, representing the interests of the fourteen counties of the region.
It was in 2007 that Dwight was asked to join the Office of U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, and took his advocacy to new heights. Colorado and the region were fortunate that Dwight agreed to extend his service in this role in my office in 2009, as Secretary Salazar took the helm of the Department of Interior.

Dwight employs a great combination of skills to effectively serve the Southeast region of Colorado. He builds strong relationships with people, he possesses a deep knowledge and respect for the heritage of Colorado, and he provides a constant presence when issues demand it. He has engaged in the battle for federal funds to build the long promised Arkansas Valley conduit. He was witness to the important preservation of our national heritage reflected at Camp Amache and Sand Creek. He helped shepherd the critical economic opportunity presented by the continuation of the Southwest Chief railroad line. From local food production to manufacturing, from the decommissioning of the Pueblo Chemical Depot to establishing good neighbor relations at Fort Carson’s Pinon Canyon Maneuver site, Dwight has been a steady presence, and road warrior across xx square miles of the beautiful and uniquely Colorado landscape.

Going forward, I will miss Dwight’s humility, and candor, and his keen understanding of what it means to be a son of rural America —attributes so needed as we work our way toward a better future. I am comforted to know that the next generation, represented by his grandson’s Noah, Devlan, and Gatlan, have the benefit of his guidance. Colorado is grateful for his service.

There will be a Celebration of Dwight’s life will be Friday, May 6th at the Heritage Center in Crowley, Colorado from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Dwight's family request donations be sent to our dear friends at Inspiration Field in La Junta. Dwight’s Parents had a big part in starting this agency for individuals with special needs, like our dear brother Harlan. Donations may be made at;

Peacock-Larsen Funeral Home & Arkansas Valley Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dwight Lester Gardner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Friday, May 6, 2022

10:30am - 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

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