For most of his adult life, Mr. Garner was a part-time Church of Christ minister, teacher and song leader, helping in over 30 churches in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky and Oklahoma.
Howard Garner graduated from high school in Drumright, Okla., where he earned several athletic, civic and educational awards. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. His undergraduate degree was acquired from Harding College, in Searcy, Ark., and his graduate degree from Oklahoma A&M (Oklahoma State University), in Stillwater, Okla. From 1951 until 1965, Mr. Garner was a teacher, coach and high school principal in Bernie, Bloomfield, Gray Ridge/Richland and Clarkton. Until his retirement in 1993, he worked for the Forrest T. Jones Company of Kansas City as the regional director of group plans for the Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA). Mr. Garner was an advocate of public education and is remembered by hundreds of Missouri teachers and students as an enthusiastic supporter of the noble teaching profession. He was a Republican.
He is survived by his son, Dr. Jeffrey Garner, his wife Judy, and grandchildren, Laura, Annalea, and Kevin of Little Rock, Ark.; brothers, Jim Garner of Ft. Worth, Texas, and Joe Garner of Lubbock, Texas; and one sister, Myrldene Smith of Kingston, Okla.
His sister, Susie Garner Cruzan, preceded him in death.
Friends may call at the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, March 4, 2004.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Friday, March 5, 2004, in the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Chapel in Dexter.
Presiding over the memorial service will be Dale Grissom, a minister of the Dexter Church of Christ.
Interment will follow in the Chalk Bluff Cemetery. Pallbearers are Jack Gillis, Larry Hillis, Gary Hicks, Stan Flowers, Tim Flowers and Earl Smith.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., at www.stjude.org.