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In Memoriam: Larry Gardner

Larry Gardner, retired Chief Engineer for Rowan Drilling Company, passed away on 28 March 2020 after courageously battling cancer for many months He was 79.

From Houston, Mr Gardner graduated in 1963 with a degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University and began his career with South Eastern Drilling Company (SEDCO) as a barge engineer. Soon thereafter, Mr Gardner moved to Japan where he was involved in the construction of one of the first tri-legged, submersible drilling rigs. From Japan he followed the rig to Southeast Asia and Australia.

In 1970, Mr Gardner began work at Rowan Drilling Company (RDC). Because of his experience in offshore drilling, he was assigned to assist in the design and construction of Rowan’s first, purpose-built, semisubmersible in joint venture with the Norwegian group Gotaas Larsen. This project soon evolved into two semisubmersibles. After completing his work on these two rigs, Mr Gardner moved back to Houston, joining RDC’s Corporate Engineering Department. Mr Gardner would go on to complete a 38-year career with Rowan Companies, retiring in 2008 as the company’s Chief Engineer.

Larry was a Lifetime Member of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and participated in the Rodeo BBQ cook-off for many years with his cook group the “Bellaire Boys Smokin Team”. He was a supporter of the School Art Auction Committee and participated in their annual auction for twenty years. Larry loved to fish and was an avid supporter of the Texas Oilman’s Charity Fishing Tournament. He also owned a hay farm in Liverpool, Texas where he enjoyed farming with his dear friend and neighbor Butch Peterson. Larry was a very generous person. He was always aware of people who were less fortunate and would routinely deny himself in favor of helping others. Larry’s friends bear witness that he was the smartest man they ever met!

Mr Gardner is survived by his nephews and nieces, George, Kyle, Teresa and Katie, as well as three grandnieces and other close family members. Mr Gardner is also survived by his close and longtime friend Janet.

In lieu of customary remembrances or flowers, memorial contributions may be to either the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Scholarship Fund or St. Francis Episcopal Church.

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