William Avon " Bill " Garner died the morning of June 8, 2019 in San Antonio with family in attendance. Bill had been struggling with dementia and bouts of pneumonia the last two years. He had been a resident of Elmendorf, Texas since 2006, having moved there from Pasadena, Texas. Bill’s first job was in his hometown of Alto, Texas as a grocer. During his lifetime, he owned a successful insurance agency, worked for Shell Pipeline, moved RV’s coast-to-coast for dealers and had numerous Buy-Sale-or-Trade stores among many other part-time and full-time occupations. Upon moving to the San Antonio area, he and his sweetheart, Josie Loredo, rescued many cats and several dogs and at one time, had 6 cats and 3 dogs sharing their home. Big Boy was his favorite and in the evening, he would invite the 90-pound dog to sit beside him for treats and to watch television. Bill was known for his wit and always had a quip for every occasion. He loved listening to traditional Mariachi music, gospel, bluegrass, Willie Nelson and Ray Price. He enjoyed watching football and the San Antonio Spurs. He loved driving and was proud that he had managed to step foot in all 50 states and had visited several countries. Bill thought he had been blessed to be born in Texas and was still attending his annual high school reunion in East Texas as often as his health and schedule allowed. He was fiercely loyal to his family and friends. Once his occupation allowed him to leave the suit and tie behind, he was henceforth seen in his beloved Guayabera shirts because they had plenty of pockets to fill! Bill was born to Elijah and Lela Hicks Garner on September 9, 1929. His parents, his two older brothers, Otis and Oren, his sister, Oretha and his two youngest children, Martin and Glenna Garner preceded him in death. He leaves behind his two daughters, Monta Gayle (Tookie) Horner and Karlyce Martina (Tina) Emshoff and husband Don, his son, Everett Nolan Garner, his youngest brother, Edwin Garner and his cherished Josie Loredo. Bill had five grandchildren: Matthew Wilcox, Kenson Wilcox, Thomas Horner, Eric Emshoff and Kate Gentile and seven great- grandchildren: Dillon, Kendell, Owen, Evan, Elizabeth, Lorenzo and Charlotte. There are numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws scattered throughout Texas to remember him. Bill elected to have no service or memorial but hoped that his family and friends would think of him and smile every time they enjoyed a home-grown tomato!

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  1. I am the oldest of five children born in a six year time period. I was my father’s first born son (I’m actually a girl), but when my dad needed someone to help him hold, move or remove something, I was drafted into service. From helping him put rice hulls in the garden to second in command in whatever he endeavored to do. When we moved to Oklahoma he became interested in auctions. I’ve lost count of how many auctions he drug me to kicking and screaming. When we moved back to Texas he went to work at Borden’s with Hulen Courtney a long time school friend. My weekends and holidays were spent loading and unloading his delivery truck, delivering milk to his customers ( trusting folks that left their back doors unlocked so that we could put their milk and butter in the frig). He would make me pick up their newspapers and any deliveries that they had received and take them in also. He told me to always do more for my customer than was required, a lesson well learned. Then he went to work at Allstate and I spent my evenings after my homework was done stamping his name and phone number on insurance ads, then on the weekend I got to put them under the windshield wipers of the cars in the Sears parking lot. That summer found me in the attic during a Texas heat wave helping him rewire the electrical service. But, he was up there in the heat with me. I had a couple of years on my own, then he was in a bad car accident and my attentions were needed again. He suffered a broken neck and required bed care and rehabilitation, so I brought him home from the hospital and tended to him and endeavored to keep his business interests from going under. This meant making payroll at a used car lot , insurance agency and fiberglass manufacturing shop. I managed to keep him in business until he recovered enough to take over, but it required a lot of juggling of finances. No wonder he went gray so early. I stayed on at the fiberglass shop for a few years and then I moved on. Many times when I was younger I was resentful that with 5 kids I was the one that was called into service over and over. As I’ve gotten older though I have come to realize that had I not been the one drafted I would never have had the intimate “heart to heart” talks that we enjoyed. One thing that has impacted my life was when he told me that he made decisions keeping in mind that he would have to be able to look himself in the mirror every morning of his life to shave and he didn’t want to be ashamed of the person looking back at him. In hindsight, I guess I was really the lucky one, he was always working and I wouldn’t have known him if I hadn’t been his apprentice. I can attribute my work ethic to him and when I told him that a few years ago, he told me that was the highest praise he had ever received. I highly doubt that, but I do know that his insurance clients thought very highly of him, they would go on and on when they came into the office . I know he will be missed. His oldest son, Monta Garner Horner

  2. Grandpa always loved watching and reading about his Texas based sports teams. He was always impressed with how much I knew as a diehard sports obsessed kid, but I was just as impressed with how informed he was considering he was always on the move. I’ll remember those conversations about the Astros, rockets. Spurs, longhorns, cowboys and more. Beyond sports conversations, I always found it funny how convinced he was he needed to be in on the latest and greatest technology. It was hard for him to keep up with the advances in internet browsing, e-mail, social media, etc, but he sure did try. A never give up competitive spirit. I’ll also always remember how appreciative he was of cracker barrel breakfasts with my mom and I catching up on everything going on in our lives. The man could eat! And he always left with a bag of cornbread muffins my mom would have made for him…she loved my grandpa and always made sure he had his favorite food to look forward to. Love you grandpa. RIP. Eric

  3. Will always have a laugh about the time Grandpa called while I was in college for dating advice and tips on writing his online profile. It was a hilarious conversation with lots of eye rolls and head shaking from this side. He will be missed.

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