Howard Ronald Garner, age 73, passed away peacefully on December 11, 2014.
Howard was born in Kansas City, MO, to the late Irl and Ora Garner.
He graduated from Center Hill High School in 1959. He attended Bulova Watch School in New York City. Howard moved to Miami, FL and began working as an aircraft technician at Barfield Aircraft Instruments. After moving to Park Forest, IL, Howard began his career in finance at Calumet Steel. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State College with a B.S. in Accounting and Finance while working for Northern Telecom, later known as Nortel, in Nashville, TN. He continued his career at Northern Telecom in New Hampshire and RTP. After leaving Nortel, he worked for Lenox, Hospice of Chatham County and the Dorcas Shop.
Howard loved playing sports such as baseball and swimming. He was an extremely talented athlete. He competed in the national Wheelchair Olympics in the 50 and 100 yard dash and discus. Later he played on various wheelchair basketball teams. He was a star player on several teams that competed nationally. While living in New Hampshire, he competed for six years in the July 4th Contoocook River Scramble with his best friend, Tip Sullivan. The first year they competed, they built a canoe in order to compete.
Howard also enjoyed his work as a community volunteer. He was a member of the Lions Club and taught a woodworking class for 4-H. Howard’s life was truly blessed. He served as Elder for two Presbyterian churches and is a member of Genesis UMC.
He was the beloved husband of 52 years to Nancy Wicks Garner, father to Regina Ann “Gigi” (Michael) Garner-Meeker of Smyrna, Tennessee and Karin Jean Garner Nielson (Stephen) of Fuquay-Varina, N.C, grandfather to granddaughter Lisa (Tyler) Beene and grandson and “best buddy” Andrew Howard Nielson. Other survivors are his sister, Lois Hightower of Shawnee Mission, KS, nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to acknowledge the outstanding care he received at Hospice of Wake County. The staff treated him with energy, compassion and dignity. In addition, the family also thanks the nurses at Rex Hospital’s ICU.
A celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, December 28, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at Genesis UMC, 850 High House Road, Cary, NC.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Genesis UMC, Hospice of Wake County, or the charity of your choice.