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Garnett Bailey Moneymaker

1918 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Garnett Bailey Moneymaker Obituary
Moneymaker, Garnett Bailey

Garnett Bailey Moneymaker - Albuquerque, NM. Son, sailor, doctor, poet, husband, father, dancer, traveler, friend to the masses and just all-around great guy.

The world changed on April 20th, 2015 when "Mon," to all who knew and loved him, said good-bye to his family and left to join Dave, his youngest son. We all know that they are together, telling each other corny jokes, and looking down on us (figuratively, not literally) with loving eyes and tender hearts.

The world changed because there are very few men like Mon. Born in 1918 in Clifton Forge, VA to Reginald Clyde and Florence Opal (Baker) Moneymaker, he grew up in rural Virginia with two siblings, John and Rosemary, on the Cow Pasture River. Sounds idyllic and it was. After high school he joined the Navy in 1937 and was assigned to the Electrical Division on the Light Cruiser U.S.S. Boise. The family wants to thank all the men and women who serve and have served in the military because we know the sacrifice that is made.

Mon's world changed in 1941, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. At the end of his four-year tour of duty, he was re-enlisted for another four, very trying years of WWII. He was in charge of the searchlights in the Battle of Guadalcanal and later in the invasion of Sicily and Italy. The diary he kept at that time is now part of the Library of Congress. During the last year and a half of the war Mon had several stateside postings. The last was with the Scouts and Raiders, forerunners of the Navy SEALS, where he learned guerilla warfare tactics and rudimentary Mandarin Chinese. His children still remember him saying "ni hao" (hello) with just the right intonation, his blue eyes twinkling.

At the close of the war medicine became his path. He attended the Medical College of Virginia with residency training in anesthesiology. It was at Huron Road Hospital in Cleveland, OH that he met the love of his life, Peg Vilmar, who had also served in the war. A move to Albuquerque in the 50's firmly grounded the couple in the Southwest. Mon worked for Presbyterian Hospital until his retirement at 65 and then went on to serve as the ship's doctor for whale watching tours with Lindbland Expeditions. He and Peg became line dancing enthusiasts and it is this that many will remember him for. Mon couldn't resist dancing anywhere at any time. In fact, he's dancing now, as you read his obituary.

He is survived by his wife Peg; son Rex; his daughter Pat (Patti) and husband Rich; daughter-in-law Donna; two grandchildren Mikel and Jennifer; two great-grandchildren Hunter and Jadynn; sister Rosemary; Hopi sister Ida; "adopted kids" Rose and Brad; and an extended family from coast to coast.

A tribute will be held in the chapel at Manzano del Sol at 1:00pm on June 13, 2015, followed by a reception in the dining room from 2:00-4:00pm. All are invited.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on May 24, 2015
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