January 4, 2018 - The Deep East Texas Council of Governments has recognized Baby Lou Gardner with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The presentation was made during the agency’s December board luncheon at Jasper.
Born at a small community in rural Shelby County, Gardner graduated from C.H. Daniels High School in 1955. She began her professional career in 1963, working for East Texas Poultry. In 1968 she went to work for the United States Department of Agriculture as a poultry inspector. She worked for USDA for 23 years, retiring in 1991.
“Baby Lou may have retired in 1991, but she didn’t slow down,” said DETCOG President Lynn Torres. “She devoted even more time to church activities and many civic organizations and activities, including the Young Women’s Social Club, the Bi-Centennial Parade, the Business and Professional Women, the Kiwanis Club, Optimist Club, Hospice Volunteer, and many others.”
As the Shelby County Minority Representative on the board, Gardner has been actively involved in DETCOG for a number of years, serving on numerous committees. She is currently a member of the DETCOG Housing Advisory Committee, RSVP Advisory Committee and Education Committee. In the past she has also served on the Grants Review Committee and Aging & Disabilities Advisory Committee.
“I don’t think anyone loves Deep East Texas more than this lady, and we love and respect her for all she has done for DETCOG, and for others through DETCOG,” commented DETCOG Executive Director Lonnie Hunt at the conclusion of the presentation.