Funeral services for Major Jerry G. Garner USAF, retired - "Smiley", "Fearless", will be held at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, March 12, 2022, at Mulhearn Funeral Home Sterlington Rd., Monroe, LA. Rev. Marcelle Crow will officiate the service, and interment will follow at Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery. Pall bearers will be volunteered by the Patriot Guard at the graveside. The family welcomes all friends and service men to the funeral and graveside.
There will be visitation Friday afternoon from 5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. at Mulhearn Funeral Home Sterlington Rd.
Mr. Garner left us to live with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on March 3, 2022, after a long healthy life of 89 years. His loving wife, Fern Kirk Garner, preceded him in death on March 26, 1999. The two of them served the Lord from the heart.
Mr. Garner started his career with the Air Force as an enlisted man at age 18. After nearly 3 years, he managed to gain acceptance to Officer Training School and spend over 17 years more as a commissioned officer. His position was Radar Intercept Officer, and he flew in mainly F104's and F4's. While he was stationed in Alaska, he and his squadron had many encounters with the Russian MIG's. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering after Alaska from OSU. After a time, Captain Garner was stationed at Eglin AFB, and was on alert through the Cuban Missile Crisis and JFK's assassination. He walked away from four crashes, including one helicopter crash. He was considered a top RIO and as the times dictated removing the back seat position, he trained many pilots, both Air Force and Navy, in intercept and avoidance techniques. After flying, Major Garner served many Pentagon missions and eventually retired while at L. G. Hanscomb Field, Bedford Mass. His foreign service included Korea and Viet Nam.
He was heard to say, "Why would you ever fold up the wings on a perfectly good jet?"
Among his many Air Force awards and decorations are the Air Force Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the Air Force Longevity Award, and the Presidential Unit Citation.
After retiring from the USAF, Mr. Garner worked another entire career at International Paper Mill in Bastrop, LA as an instrument engineer. He loved TV repair, back in the good ol' tube days. He grew and baled hay and had a huge garden on his 10-acre ranch. He earned his general aviation pilot license and obtained IFR and multi-engine ratings. He loved to fly simulation software and he influenced his children to become pilots.
Dad was also heard to say, "Is this trip really necessary?" From your family who loves you and will miss you - "Yes Dad, thank our Lord Jesus that your trip of life really was necessary. Thank you for being our Daddy."