UNION — A life that has now spanned more than a century was celebrated when Angus W. “Red” Garner’s family gathered to celebrate his 100th birthday.
Garner, who now lives at Heartland Assisted Living Center, turned 100 on Jan. 20. Attending the celebration were Garner’ son Tommy and daughter Betty and most of his grandchildren as well other relatives and friends. The celebration included a cake of which Garner enjoyed a generous portion. Garner received a number of cards and gifts from his family and friends.
“He was happy,” his granddaughter, Jennifer Belue, said. “He was delighted to have people there to talk to him.”
Before he became a resident at Heartland, Garner lived in Jonesville and was employed by the town in a variety of positions for more than 40 years.
“He read water meters, I remember riding around with him when he was reading the meters,” Belue said. “He also worked the sewer lines and the water lines.”
In addition to work for the town’s water and sewer department, Garner also worked as police officer and in its sanitation department.
“He just did all jobs and whatever was necessary,” Belue said. “He wouldn’t take vacations. I remember him going on vacation with us one time and all the time he was there all he could talk about was what was going on in Jonesville.”
Belue said that even though he officially retired in 1976, Garner continued working for the town in whatever capacity it needed him.
Garner is a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army serving in the European Theater.
Prior to going to work for the town, Garner worked in the JP Stevens mill in Jonesville for 30 years. He retired from the mill in 1962 and was then hired by the town, beginning his second career.
While working in the mill, Garner met his wife, Isma Horne. The couple married Feb. 15, 1936, and remained together for 58 years until Isma’s death in 1994.
“They spoiled me silly,” Belue said of her grandparents. “He made me believe that money grows on trees. He had a pecan tree in the backyard that had a limb that was real low. He’d sneak out there and put money on top of it and then bring me out and he’d hold me up so that I could find the money.”
Belue said that her grandfather loved telling that story, telling it every chance he got.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, Ext. 14.