On January 17, 2015 the world lost a great man, father, fisherman, husband, clown and scientist. Jamie Neal Gardner died at the age of 61. He leaves behind a loving family, the fish still left to catch, echoes of laughter and a legacy of groundbreaking science.
Jamie was born on May 29, 1953 to Helen and Bud Gardner in Spokane, Washington. Jamie spent most of his childhood in Washington until business took his father and family to Japan and then to California. Jamie attended the University of California at Santa Cruz where he received a Bachelor of Sciences in Earth Science. In 1981, he married the love of his life, Christine Backhouse, who would continue to be his partner in crime for 34 years, through thick and thin, including two children, Leah and Alex Gardner.
He received his Ph.D. in Geology in 1985 from the University of California at Davis. He worked for 29 years for Los Alamos National Laboratory. He retired in 2008 and moved into the Jemez Mountains, a place that he loved more than any. Anyone who knew Jamie could tell you he loved rocks and the only thing he probably loved more than rocks was to tell people about rocks. Jamie’s memory will live on in his family, their earthquake preparedness plans, many friends and colleagues. His sense of humor and compassion will not soon be forgotten.
The Gardner’s would be honored if you would attend a wake in Jamie’s honor, to be held on Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 1-3 p.m. at Canon Del Rio in Jemez Springs. Note: This is not a service, but rather a party in remembrance of Jamie’s life, please come for whatever portion of the afternoon that you can. Additionally, please bring snacks, beer and whiskey to share in Jamie’s honor.