In Dec. 23 IssueBy Kim GrahamTimes Journal Reporter
Russell County Save-A-Lot Partner and Manager Howard Garner leaves a legacy of integrity, generosity and love for people.
Garner, 80, died suddenly last Thursday in a car crash as he traveled home for lunch during icy road conditions.
Garner's wife of 57 years, Bernice Kissee Garner of Nancy, his son, Timothy Howard Garner of Nancy, and daughter, Dana Bernice Garner Arnett of Somerset are joined not only by extended family but also by the community in mourning his passing.
Longtime friend Georgia Edmonds said his integrity was well known throughout Russell County.
"He's a fine person," said Edmonds. "He's the most honest person I ever knew."
She said Garner was renowned for his kindness and fair treatment of everyone in the community.
"Everybody loved him," said Edmonds. "This is such a loss. Russell County won't be the same without him."
For 25 years, Garner managed daily operations of Save-A-Lot grocery store in Russell Springs.
Save-A-Lot Assistant Manager Brently Goodin said Garner was hometown customer service oriented in his management style.
"(Howard) always said he wanted this store run like a country store," said Goodin. "That's the way it's run but on a larger scale."
When hard times came along for his customers, Garner genuinely cared enough that he helped them keep food on their tables by offering in-house credit.
"You could just say you couldn't afford (to buy groceries) and he'd charge what you needed then you'd pay him back whenever you could," Edmonds said.
Garner was known among his employees as a trustworthy, father figure they could count on for support.
"Howard was more than just a manager to all of us," said Goodin. "He was a mentor, a friend, and a shoulder to lean on."
"Words cannot describe how much he will be missed," Goodin said.