Farming Rural 18
Official Obituary of

Timothy A. Gastler

March 26, 1942 ~ August 19, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old

Timothy Gastler Tribute


Timothy Albert Gastler, of Durham, CT, passed away peacefully at home on August 19th at 81 years old. His legacy and spirit will live on in the flowers, trees, gardens and landscapes he cared for, and the generous community he cultivated at Gastler Farm. He was and will always be an inspiration to us all. We will miss him dearly.

A creative and visionary person, Tim Gastler was a naturally strong presence in any community of which he was a part. In the 1960s, that community was the American crafts movement as a craftsman of rustic furniture and pitchforks. He was a member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, and a juried member of the American Craft Council.

Tim was the third-generation farmer of Gastler Farm in Durham, CT, where he learned "old-fashioned dirt farming" and the cultivation & selective breeding of pansies from his father's renowned pansy business. As the owner of the farm, Tim built the business into a widely recognized nursery of large-scale ornamental and specimen trees and shrubs, which were sought after for their quality, size, and their unique artistic presence in landscapes. Tim will be remembered for his inspired mind and creative landscaping expertise, which he poured into artistic plantscapes and gardens at homes, estates, and campuses throughout Connecticut and the surrounding states. Tim's last landscape was his ongoing garden project at Gastler Farm, which he meticulously cultivated year after year through his retirement. His gardens and free-standing stone walls were recently documented and registered in the National Archive of American Gardens at the Smithsonian Museum.

Tim was passionate about music and the arts, and over time built a permanent event space at his farm for the community to gather and appreciate music and art in the farmhouse and gardens. For the past 10 years, he hosted and sponsored Kalmia Garden Music and Arts, an annual classical music concert series.

Tim Gastler was a graduate of Durham High School, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, and studied at the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, MA.

He is survived by his son, Nicholas Harland, and two daughters, Leah and Sarah Gastler, as well as one granddaughter, Fern.

Tim did not wish for a formal funeral. Instead, we will be hosting a celebration of his life at Gastler Farm on Saturday, September 16th beginning at 1p.m. All who would like to share in the memory of Tim Gastler are welcome to attend.

Published by Middletown Press on Sep. 7, 2023.


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