James D. Garner

May 26, 1949 - Aug. 8, 2018

James D. Garner, 69, Claysburg, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday.

He was born in Roaring Spring, son of the late James M. and Laura M. (Meritts) Garner. On May 19, 1974, he married Tanyia K. (Lingenfelter) Garner in Claysburg.

Surviving are his wife of 44 years; three sons: James W. Garner and significant other, Heather, Justin J. Garner and wife, Cynthia, and Jarvis J. Garner and significant other, Jessica, all of Claysburg; two grandchildren; two sisters: Patricia Garner and Bonnie Garner, both of Baltimore, Md.; a brother, David W. Garner and wife, Gloria, of Claysburg; and good friend and caretaker, Jim Kelly of Claysburg.

James graduated from Claysburg Kimmel High School in 1967. He worked as an MSMA electrician and plumber for 40 years before retiring. He inspected quarries and underground mines for the Department of Labor and Industry for many years. He had a degree in high voltage work and engineering. He retired in January 2009 due to health reasons and his son, Justin J. Garner, took over the business in 2009.

He loved his church, Greenfield Charge, and all the folks there. James was a member of the Bedford Honor Guard and also performed military rites for Disabled American Veteran Groups in all areas. He was a proud commander of DAV Chapter 34 of Altoona, and District Commander of District 5, covering six counties. James sat on the Disabled American Veterans of the State Finance Committee and its Prisoners of War Board. He always said “every veteran has earned a military funeral.” He was a life member of Cumberland Vietnam Veterans Chapter 172, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Legion. His last assignment in Vietnam was on prisoner war camps. Having many wounds after 40 years, he was awarded 100 percent disability from the DAV. He had most respect for God, County and Special Forces. He was a social member of the Moose, Elks and Redman Tribe.

He enjoyed special devices, welding and custom making of electrical controls and panels. He loved his three sons and teaching them the trade on a daily basis. They all have furthered their education in other areas as well. He was close to all of them. He also loved his two grandchildren immensely and enjoyed spending time with them by pushing them on the swing, reading books or giving them tractor rides around his farm. His three sons helped on the family farm of beef cattle in their spare time. His saddest time in his life was during the death of his mom and dad, to whom he was very close. His wife, Tanyia, is very active in helping at military events in the Hollidaysburg Veterans Home and the VA Hospital in Altoona, along with many fundraisers for the veterans. James served in the U.S. Army for three years, then after getting out, served in the Active Army Reserves on training.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, at the Green­field United Church of Christ, Claysburg, the Rev. James Neatrour officiating. Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today, Aug. 10, 2018, and one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church. Burial will be at Garner Farm Cemetery. Arrangements are by the Timothy A. Berkebile Funeral Home, Bedford.

Those wishing may make memorial contributions in James’ name may do so to Greenfield United Church of Christ or PA Veteran’s Association.