Gardiner K Stetson, Sr.July 1, 1925 ~ May 19, 2017 (age 91)
Gardiner K. Stetson Sr. passed away on May 19th, 2017 at the age of 91 after a long battle with cancer. He was born in Orford, NH on July 1, 1925 the son of Claude H. Stetson and Doris (Gardner) Stetson. Gardiner was a friend to both man and beast as he worked his trade of Blacksmith and Wheelwright in Newport for over 70 years. Gardiner was a gentleman and highly respected by all whose lives he had touched.
Gardiner was a graduate of Towle High School Class of 1943. After serving in the Army overseas during World War II, Gardiner came back to Newport to continue the blacksmithing trade, farm, marry and raise a family with his wife of 68 years. Known as the singing school bus driver, Gardiner is remembered to this day for his strong tenor voice singing songs from long ago.
While operating the blacksmith shop with his son Gardiner Jr., he worked a second job at Sturm Ruger & Co. for 20 years. After his “retirement” from those careers, Gardiner spent the next 15 years stewarding and logging in his small woodlot on his original homestead in North Newport.
Newport’s “Village Blacksmith” was known for his devotion to his family, cheery disposition, simple lifestyle and love of dogs. His passion for nature, history, and especially his selfless spirit often left a significant impression on those who spent time with or knew Gardiner. Most of all, Gardiner was bountiful with his original Yankee wit and wisdom.
He is survived by his wife Gloria D. Stetson, his four children; Gardiner Jr., Timothie, Dean, and Todd, 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held on Friday, June 16 at 3:00 PM at the South Congregational Church in Newport, NH.