Gardner was, above all else, a true La Jollan, spending 85 of his 86 years right here in the heart of the Village.
A graduate of La Jolla High School and the University of Texas at Austin, Gardner enlisted in the Army during World War II and served his beloved country with honor, distinction and dedication. For the next 50 years, he meticulously maintained his family's properties in and around La Jolla, but his favorite hangout, in which you could find him every morning, was Harry's Coffee Shop. It was his home away from home where he was most certainly a “regular.” He was known for his prodigious and uncanny memory, citing, as he was inclined to do, various facts and figures regarding history, geography and current events. Most of this knowledge was acquired through his extensive travels, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Beyond these fantastic feats, Gardner was a generous and gentle soul, always curious about everything. This curiosity and sense of wonder kept his mind active and his heart young. In the end, though, he succumbed to one of life's few guarantees: death. The lengths to which many of us go to avoid this simple inevitability is at times laughable, yet Gardner handled his fate with a sense of grace and dignity. He was scared, of course, but he no doubt was comforted by the thought of his long, fruitful and full life. That is what we will have when we reach the end: our thoughts and memories of — hopefully — a life well lived.
Gardner's extended “family” — friends and employees at Harry's Coffee Shop, the Rudolphs, etc. — will truly miss this remarkably unique man. In life, one did not easily forget him; he was too special. We will, accordingly, do our very best to honor him and his lasting impact on La Jolla and our family. Gardner Frank Rutherford Marston, we will miss you. Bon voyage and happy trails.
A funeral for Mr. Marston will be held at 11 a.m on Thursday, Sept. 15 at Mary, Star of the Sea in La Jolla.