MARQUETTE - William George Garner, 69, a resident of the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans and former Skandia area resident, entered eternal life Tuesday morning, Aug. 6, 2013, at the facility.
Born Aug. 1, 1944, in Racine, Wis., a son of George Joseph and Caroline Viola (Combs) Garner, Bill was raised in Racine until entering the U.S. military. He served in the U.S. Army for four years prior to his honorable discharge. Returning to Racine, he married the former Judy Westlake on June 25, 1966, and together the couple established their first home and began raising a family.
While residing in Racine, Bill was employed as executive chef with the Racine Golf and Country Club, catering twice for Bart Starr and the Green Bay Packers. In 1969, he helped open the Lake Bluff Country Club near Escanaba, serving as executive chef, and in 1971 moved to Marquette where he accepted the position of food director at the Marquette Branch Prison, serving 12 years before retiring due to disability.
Bill and Judy moved to the Skandia area in 1976. Bill's accomplishments were many and later in life he completed his high school education through the Adult Education Program offered through the Marquette Senior High School.
He received his Associate Degree in Culinary Arts through the Jacobetti Skill Center.
Besides being a phenomenal cook, Bill's other interests throughout the years included being a member of the prison employees bowling league, enjoying pinochle, cribbage, Yahtzee, bingo, and the game tournaments provided at Jacobetti. While raising his family, Bill enjoyed attending his son's sporting events, attending all football, basketball, wrestling matches, and band concerts.
Bill is survived by his daughter, Sarah Griffith of Rapid River; son, Charles Garner of Skandia; his grandchildren, William, David, and Caleb Garner, Leila Morris-Garner, and Abagail Dani; his sisters, Janice Colvin of Tennessee, "Boots" (Clark) Borth of Tucson, Ariz.; brother, Timothy "Buck" (Tammy) Garner of Washington State; very special family friend, Randall Just of Skandia; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Judith Garner in 2009; son-in-law, Brian Griffith in 2011; sisters, Sandy Sharkey and Sis Bradshaw; and a nephew, Geoffrey Colvin.
The family will receive relatives and friends in the chapel of the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans on Saturday, Aug. 10, beginning at 3 p.m. A memorial service will follow at 4 p.m. with Bill's daughter, Sarah, leading the service. Inurnment will be made in the Emanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery, Skandia.
The Fassbender Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderfuneralhome.com.