A beloved Dad and Gramps, Alton Garner, went to be with his Lord on October 11, 2019. The family celebrated his life of 90 years during a private service on October 14, 2019, at Lake Ridge Chapel and Memorial Designers. The United States Marine Corps presented the colors for his service and dedication to our country at Peaceful Gardens Memorial Park.
Alton was born on October 29, 1928, to H.G. (Dick) and Mabel Pollock Garner on a farm in Terry County, Texas. He graduated from Union High School in 1946 and met the love of his life, Thalua Marie Bearden. They married on September 11, 1948.
Alton attended Draughon Business College in Lubbock and began bookkeeping before being drafted in April 1952. He was inducted into the Marines and deployed to Korea, where he spent his service with the 1st Medical Battalion. One memorable day, he was one of several Marines chosen to go to “Freedom Village” at Panmunjom, where United Nations prisoners were exchanged for Communist prisoners from China and North Korea. His job was to visit with the UN prisoners to record their names and as much information as could be gathered for identification. Later in service, he was transferred to Marine HQ on the western front. As a record keeper, he saw many casualty lists. Alton was a witness to the high cost of war. This influenced his patriotism and Marine pride for the rest of his life.
He was discharged in 1954 and returned to Texas. Alton lived in Brownfield, Littlefield, and Perryton. He spent several careers working first as an abstractor, then as a banker. He retired in 1991 as President of Perryton Savings and Loan.
In 1991, Alton and Thalua moved to Levelland, where he spent wonderful years attending school programs, ballgames, birthday parties, and holiday dinners with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Alton and Thalua restored tractors and were active members of the South Plains Antique Tractor Association. His good health enabled him to work part-time until 80. He enjoyed the business of an active lifestyle with his loving wife of 68 years. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Levelland and a steadfast believer in his Christian faith.
Alton had a memorable trip to Washington, D.C., in 2017 with the Texas South Plains Honor Flight. It was a great honor for him to visit the Korean War Memorial and the National Museum of the Marines. US citizens with family roots in Korea would approach him in gratitude for his service in the Korean War.
Survivors include his daughter, Jennifer Morgan and husband, Neal, of Lubbock; two grandchildren, Rachel Fernihough and husband, David of Lubbock, Jim Morgan and wife, Rachel of Dallas; six great-grandchildren, Joseph, Lauren, and Nora Fernihough, and Clay, Harper, and Caroline Morgan; two sisters, Carol Ann Stokes of Brownfield and Marcia Polsgrove of Fort Worth; and two sister-in-laws, Sheron Daniel of Lubbock and Lena Bill Franks of Midland.
Alton was preceded in death by his parents, Dick and Mabel Garner; wife, Thalua Garner; son, Paul Douglas Garner; daughter, Charlotte Ann Garner; sister, Patsy Pope; brothers, Jerry Garner and Walton Garner.
Our family would like to thank the caregivers at Covenant Hospital, Crown Point, and Grand Court – Brookdale for the most loving care.
The family has designated Texas South Plains Honor Flight, PO Box 94787, Lubbock, TX 79493, https://www.texassouthplainshonorflight.org/sponsor for memorial contributions donated in his memory.