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Michael Edward Garner

Marvell, AR, 1948 - 2014

Michael Edward Garner One martini too many----that's what killed him!
I am born.
"In Dixie Land where I was born
Early on one frosty morn'"
After a long and difficult labor, I am born right after midnight on Wednesday, November 3, 1948, the day after Harry Truman is elected President of the United States, to Alice and Paul Garner in Memphis, Tennessee. At age 4, the Garners move to Marvell, Arkansas. I start to Mrs. Rowan's Sunshine Kindergarten that fall, where I request and receive a "co-cola" rather than the orange juice offered---you see, I am an only child! I love my grandmothers---Big Mama and Nanny---Nanny comes to live with us in Marvell. I love going to Big Mama's in Memphis for Christmas and seeing my aunts, uncles and cousins. And I love school. I attend Marvell Public Schools for the next twelve years, graduating in May 1966 as one of the 48 Superior Seniors of '66!
I am educated. I work.
"Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton
Old times there are not forgotten"
My formal education is hardly over. Au contraire! Clark Hall and I attend summer school that summer at The University in Fayetteville and then again for the fall semester. Clark eventually bestows on me what I always consider the highest honor of my life, serving as his Best Man. In January of my Freshman year, I transfer to Ole Miss, because it is more "Southern." It is there that I fall in love with The Rebels, The Confederate flag, "Dixie," Col. Reb, Bourbon and water and Kathy Haskett. I join Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity and love drinkin' and dancin' and partin' at the fraternity house. The best day of my life is January 1, 1970, when Ole Miss beats Arkansas in The Sugar Bowl 27-22. Although "…one never graduates from Ole Miss," I receive a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in May 1970 from The University of Mississippi. I attend Mizzou that summer and fall. I then enter Ole Miss Law School in the summer of 1971 and graduate with a Juris Doctor in December 1973. After 21 years of formal education, it is time to go to work…. and I do for Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company in Jackson, Mississippi, retiring in March 2011.
I live my life.
But my life is not about work…. My life is about fun! I like people and laughter and nonsense. I love riding with the top down in convertibles and jeeps. I like Elvis and the Beatles and The Temptations. I like listening to oldies and rock ‘n' roll and ‘60s soul. I like Italy and New York City and N'Awlins. I love bulldogs and screened porches and everything Southern. I love shrimp and pasta and BLT's in the summertime. I love The Fall, Ole Miss football and bowl games. I love throwing a party… FNEJ for Africa, USA for Tammy Faye, a Martin Luther King Party now and then and my own ‘60s 60th Birthday Party. I make more fun of Bill and Hillary Clinton than anyone in the world, except for Saturday Night Live. I vote Republican every chance I get. What I don't like is being told what to do. Occasionally pretentious and somewhat affected, I like things my way….like writing my own obituary. Although outwardly gregarious and self-confident, I am not the extrovert that I appear. I am oftentimes prone to self-doubt and I get my feelings hurt too easily…and yet I love to be the center of attention and the life of the party! My life's mottos are "It's all about me!" and "You have to grow old, but you don't have to grow up."
I die.
"In Dixie Land I'll take my stand
To live and die in Dixie"
Dying from who knows what, but peacefully in my sleep, at home at the age of 65 in Madison, Mississippi, I have gone on to explain my life to my Maker on July 27th, 2014. Although a born-again Christian, I am a back-slidin' Southern Baptist. So, friends, gather for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at a time and place to be determined and toast me and roast me. Meanwhile, I'll be available for viewing from 11 to 1 p.m. at the Bob Neal & Sons/Brickell Funeral Home in my hometown of Marvell, Arkansas, with a graveside service immediately following at Eventide Cemetery beside "them ole cotton fields back home." And will be buried beside my parents, Alice and Paul Garner, in my beloved hometown of Marvell "…. away, away, away down South in Dixie."
And the mosquitoes-----That's what drove him crazy............

Published July 30, 2014

Bob Neal & Sons - Brickell
350 E. Hwy 49, Marvell, AR
Phone: 501-354-1638