Mary Lee Garner was born in Dahlonega, Georgia on January 18th, 1930 to Lewis and Leola Crane. Born 5th of 9 children, Mary valued family above all else. On October 14th, 1950, she married Virgil Rueben Garner and started a family of her own. Their marriage produced 6 children whose names all start with a D: Donna Stephens (Terry), Dale Waid, Debra Teasley (Dean), David Garner, Dana Atwood (Thomas), and Delinda Jenkins (Gary). Though Mary lost Virgil after just 32 years together, the family they built continues to grow. She went on to have 18 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren, all of whom she loved with her whole heart.
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Mary always did everything with a joyous spirit. She could whip up a whole meal in 10 minutes, and was always ready with something if you dropped by. When she wasn't cooking cornbread and green beans or cutting up with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, you could find Mary working hard on something. Whether it was at the store, at Six-Flags taking tickets, or out in her yard, Mary was never bored. That spirit never slowed. In her later years you could find her cutting her grass, dancing at weddings (her specialty was “the Wobble”), and keeping her house spotless (and filled with Little Debbie's and other treats!). Even when she wasn’t able to do as much physically, she still stayed active cheering on the Atlanta Braves, admiring Steve Harvey's suits, and judging Joanna’s decorating on Fixer Uppers. Mary was strong in her faith. She took her children to church and shows them- by her words and actions- how to serve others & do the right thing. She was active in her faith community and everyone knew she had a kind, Christ-like heart. Mary was also very loving and accepting of all people. As her grandchildren grew older and gained piercings and tattoos, Mary never failed to tell them how beautiful they were and how proud she was of the amazing people they had become. Mary's legacy is seen in the love of her children and grandchildren. She has passed down her caregiving nature, work ethic, and lively spirit. Even in her final days, she was still putting others first by offering her seat and telling everyone "Holler if you need anything."
Mary passed away November 12th, 2019 at 89 years old. She is preceded in death by Virgil Garner and survived by her sisters, Carolyn Haygood and Jewel Anderson.
Mary's Celebration of Life will be held at Bellamy Funeral Home at 3551 Jimmy Lee Smith Pwky, Hiram, GA 30141.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, November 16th from 11:00am- 2:00pm with a service to follow. Interment will follow at Mount Harmony Memorial Gardens.