Max Garner


(January 19, 2003)

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Wednesday morning at St. Barbara's Catholic Church for Max Garner, a very special man, son, husband, brother, father, gramps, uncle, businessman and dyed-in-the-wool grocer who died Sunday, Jan. 19 at his Powell home. He was 71.

Father Pete Johnson officiated at services and burial in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Mr. Garner was born June 29, 1931, to Ruby and William Garner. He spent his first 14 years in Louisiana and Arkansas. He moved with his uncle, Audrey Gilmore, to Powell.

Upon his arrival in Powell, he worked at the local bakery. For many years, he worked for the Steck family at the Ralston Lumber and Grocery, riding his wizard scooter back and forth to work. He was also employed by the Keebler Cookie Company and drove a propane gas truck.

He married Norma Avis April 9, 1952. They were later divorced. During their marriage, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1950-1954 as a Quartermaster (storekeeper).

They bought the "Sawyers Big T" in 1967. From that move he owned several grocery stores in Cody and Powell. His Max's Supermarket was the predecessor to Blair's Market in Powell.

The grocery store business was in his blood, and he trained many teenagers and adults over the years.

On Feb. 22, 1968, he married Patsy Singer. They were married 34 years. They worked side by side in the grocery business until he retired in 1980 at the age of 50.

Working would be his life's hobby. In his later years, his grandchildren were the light of his life.

He is survived by his wife, Patsy Garner of Powell; his mother, Ruby Edwards of Powell; Norma Garner of Lovell, the mother of his daughter, Maxie Lynn and husband David of Powell; two sons, Steve Singer and his wife Melody of Cody and Darren Singer and Peggy Potter of Cody; former daughters-in-law, Karen Singer of Casper and Kathy Singer of Cody; eight grandchildren, Katie, Ross, Ronnie, Nathan, Sheena, Jonathan, Jacob and Daniel; and one great-grandchild, Meleah. He is also survived by two brothers, James Garner of Louisiana and Cordell Edwards of California; two sisters, Wanda Ball of South Carolina and Retha Bidinger of Ohio; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Katie Bledsoe; his father, William Jefferson Garner; brother John F. Garner; and sister Maxine Garner.

Mr. Garner made numerous contributions to the communities of Cody and Powell. Countless youth were encouraged to attend college and now rank among professionals in communities throughout the country.

Max and Patsy Garner's home in Powell was well known as "the Christmas house." Their decorations and open houses delighted children in the community for years.

The family is comforted in the knowledge that his love of life, humor and generosity will be a memorial for all who knew him.

For those who wish, memorial contributions to the Northwest College Foundation would be appreciated by the family.