Jack Garner


Memorial services for 93-year old Jack Garner of Lusk, Wyo, are Saturday, April 20th. 2024 at 1:00 at the Prairie Hills Community Church in Lusk with Pastor Matt Parker of the Harrison Bible Church officiating and military honors by airmen of the U-S Air Force from F-E Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Inurnment will be at a later date at the cemetery in Crawford, NE.

Memorials may be sent to the family and/or to the Niobrara County Hospital/Extended Care Facility in Lusk.

Jack Garner was born on Jan 19, 1931, as the firstborn son of Roy L and Ruth E (Thornton) Garner in Crawford, where he spent all of his early years. He passed on to his eternal home on March 17, 2024, while in the Niobrara Extended Care Facility in Lus.

Jack told of working many odd jobs in his youth, which included mowing lawns, shoveling snow, gathering and selling scrap metal, and delivering papers on foot until he eventually got a bicycle, making the task much easier. 

His paper route even took him out to Fort Robinson, three miles away, where he was even allowed to go into the German prisoner-of-war camp. Jack, as the eldest of six children, felt a responsibility to help out by doing these odd jobs. 

However, he often commented “we never went hungry and always had clothes”. As a young adult, Jack worked for the railroad and also helped in the initial construction of Angostura Dam, near Hot Springs, SD.

In January of 1951, at the age of 19, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, beginning a 20-year military career. (20 years, 6 months and 28 days to be precise, as he liked to say.)

Jack married Marjy M Murphy on Jan 10, 1953. To this union, three daughters were born: Jackie (born in Alliance, NE), Ruthe (born at Travis AFB in California), and Theresa (born at Tachikawa AFB, Japan).

The Air Force years enabled Jack and his family to travel to many different locations. These included California,Oklahoma, Japan, Maryland (Washington DC) and back to Travis AFB, where he retired in 1971 as Chief Master Sergeant, the highest rank achievable by an enlisted officer. 

He received several commendations and medals while serving in the USAF. Jack was in charge of Passenger Service at the various terminals to which he was assigned. At Andrews AFB, he was especially privileged to meet many famous and prestigious people, and even sneak in a handshake when possible. 

These included President Kennedy, who was assassinated during Jack’s assignment at Andrews AFB, and Jimmie Davis, Governor of Louisiana, who copyrighted the song “You Are My Sunshine”. Jack served in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War during his years of service.

Crawford was always home and when Jack would have a leave from work, the family would pack up and head to Nebraska. This was a great opportunity to reunite and spend time with family and friends, and also gave the girls many lifetime memories with their maternal and paternal grandparents.

Jack had a love for nice cars, and this carried on through his later years. He appreciated a well-made, shiny classic!! He loved music, everything from old time country to Irish dance music. His neighbors commented many times about how they loved Jack’s outdoor speakers, especially at Christmas time. 

He had a passion for genealogy and family history. Through years of in-depth research, he compiled a legacy of Garner family genealogical data, which will be passed along for generations to come.

Following his Air Force retirement, since he was still quite young, Jack worked at several different jobs around Crawford. At one point, he and his brother, Roy Jr, went into partnership at the Garner Brothers Texaco. He eventually worked in Maintenance at the Ponderosa Villa Nursing Home.

After the dissolution of his marriage to Marjy, Jack moved to Lusk, Wyo, where he was employed at the Wyoming Women’s Center Prison for 10 years before his retirement from there.  He thoroughly enjoyed the people he worked with and for and felt it was one place he had truly made a difference.

Jack and Patricia (Eberspecher) Holmgren were married on November 30, 1989, and made their home in Lusk. Through this union, their families were blended. 

He gained 3 adult children and their spouses: Chuck & Donna Holmgren, Kathryn & Larry Wickersham, and Casey and Amy Holmgren, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Together, Jack and Patricia enjoyed many years of dancing, traveling, entertaining and spending time with family and friends.

Jack is survived by his wife Patricia, his sister Patty (Melvin) Jones, brother Roy Garner Jr, sister-in-law Lola Garner; his children Jackie (Ken) Lewis, Ruthe (Ron) Meter, Theresa (Alan) Hummel; grandchildren Jenn (BJ) Hood, Melissa (Reggie Brown) Lewis, Ryan (Melissa) Lewis, Katie (Ryan) Magwire, Kassie (Kevin) Jensen, Eryn Hummel, and Evan Hummel; great-grandchildren Kaylee (Hayden) Gallo, Kendrick Brown, Maizie, Nolyn, Fionna, and Brodye Lewis, Kashton and Hadley Magwire, and Jackson and Hunter Jensen. 

He is also survived by stepchildren Chuck (Donna) Holmgren, Kathryn Holmgren, and Casey (Amy) Holmgren; step-grandchildren Sara (Darby) Paxton, Kristi Holmgren, Jess (Stacy) Holmgren, Sam (Cassie) Holmgren, Travis, Eric and Miles (Emily) Wickersham, Shannon Fickel-Hammond, Ryan Holmgren, Hayley (Taylor) Hall; step-great-grandchildren Will, Ben, Tommy, Alex and Drew Paxton, Natalie and Charlie Norman, Grace, John, Emily, and Joe Holmgren, Cody, Leah, Jenna, Kate, and Carly Holmgren, Silas, Mae, and Naomi Hall, Brennon, Cameron, Bennie, and Allie Fickel, and Chelsea and Echo Hammond. Jack is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were his sisters Bobbee (Hank) Gentrup and Leola Reynoldson, brother Donnie Garner, and sister-in-law Vicki Garner. Also preceding him were Patricia’s son Chris Holmgren, step-great-grandsons JP Norman, Tristan Hammond, Kennedy Hammond ,and two nephews Ricky and Randy Reynoldson.

Pier Funeral Home in Lusk is in charge of the funeral arrangements.