James F. Gartner, 79, of Preston, died Friday, May 2, 2014, at his home.

He was born Nov. 25, 1934, in Rochester, the son of Frank and Ella (Scanlon) Gartner.

He graduated from Preston High School in 1953.

On Feb. 2, 1956 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Germany until his discharge on Jan. 17, 1958. He worked various jobs in the Preston area following his discharge. In 1964 he owned his own milk hauling business.

On Aug. 29, 1964 he married Viola Kellner at St. Pius X in Rochester.

He continued to haul milk until 1971, and then farmed until 1996. From there he worked for Gehling Auctioneers until 2010. He also loved mowing lawns. He was a lifelong member of St. Columban Catholic Church. He was very active with the American Legion and was past commander of the Preston VFW. He enjoyed being with his grandchildren and going to auctions.

Survivors include his wife, Viola; one son, Tom (Micki) and daughter, Linda Gartner, both of Preston; four grandchildren, Brady, Daulton and Bailey Gartner and Jonathan Hanson, all of Preston; one brother, Jerry (Nancy) of Preston and two sisters, Rita Wilson of Preston and Jeanette Budde of Peru, Ill.

He was preceded in death by two brothers-in-law.

A funeral mass was held Wednesday, May 7, at St. Columban Catholic Church in Preston with the Rev. Patrick Arens officiating. Burial will be at a later date in the State Veteran's Cemetery in Preston.

Online condolences may be left at thauwaldfuneralhomes.com.