James Garner, a native of Dyer, Tenn., died Sunday, Oct. 17 in Plano, Texas, with his wife of almost 60 years and daughter Susan by his side. He was 84.
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Mr. Garner worked for Phillips Petroleum for 37 years, living in Texas, New Mexico, Idaho and Bartlesville. While with Phillips, he secured a number patents for the company on refining processes.
Intelligent, engaging, handy and kind describe Mr. Garner. He enjoyed reading, bridge, his grandchildren and loved watching SEC college football, especially his Tennessee Vols.
Mr. Garner was the only child of Jesse and Florence Garner. He grew up on a dairy farm outside of Dyer. In high school he excelled in science and math, graduating salutatorian of his class. He joined the Army Air Corps during World War II and served stateside, obtaining the rank of corporal. After his discharge he attended the University of Tennessee, receiving a degree in chemical engineering. He returned to the Air Force during the Korean War as a flight engineer.
He was a master contract bridge player. He was passionate about the game, playing into his 70s. He even considered how challenging a club was before moving to Austin in the 1990s.
Mr. Garner is survived by his wife, Fairy, who he met while at UT; daughters Sarah of Atlanta and Susan of Plano; and four grandchildren: Jesse, Daniel, Rachel and Steven.
The family requests donations to Alzheimer's research in lieu of flowers.
Published in Examiner-Enterprise from Oct. 19 to Nov. 19, 2010