JEFFERSON — Dale Austin Gardner, 69, of Jefferson, died peacefully surrounded by family, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, at the Togus VA Medical Center.

He was born in Gardiner, Maine on Oct. 27, 1952, the youngest son of Bernard and Irene Gardner.

Dale served in the Army in Vietnam and the Navy in Okinawa. He retired from Maine State Prison in 2004 after 28 years. He loved hunting, fishing, and camping trips in the Allagash with the guys and particularly bird watching on the Kennebec River, but nothing compared to the love he had for his family.

He was predeceased by his mother Irene, his father Bernard, brother Judson and his beloved boxer Boomer.

Dale is survived by his sister Jackie, brother David, wife Patricia, daughters Heather (Yogi) Pratt and Tonya (Roy) Gardner, grandchildren Dakota (Josh) Cutler, Logan, Kabien and Ava, great-grandchildren Gunnar Smith, Grayson and Louissa-Jean Cutler; and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life will be held Oct. 1 at 11 a.m. at 132 Boynton Schoolhouse Road in Jefferson.

Arrangements are entrusted with Staples Funeral Home and Cremation Care, 53 Brunswick Avenue, Gardiner, Maine. Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the Staples Funeral Home website,