Today's Paper News Sports Features Business Opinion LEARNS Guide Newsletters Obits Games Archive Notices Core Values

Billy Gene Garber

Fayetteville, AR, 1930 - 2022

Billy (Bill) Gene Garber, age 92, passed away on October 24, 2022, at his home in Fayetteville, Ark.
He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Alice Garber; his siblings, Tom Garber, Carolyn Alsenz, and Mary Lou Mumpton; his children, Randall (Randy) Garber, and Kristen (Kris) Meyer; his grandchildren, Cecily Garber, Lynn Cunningham, Alison Ragsdale, Will Meyer, and Brian Meyer; and his great-grandchildren, Linnea Hsu, Hopper Hsu, James Cunningham, Leo Cunningham, Levi Ragsdale, and Lori Kate Ragsdale.
Bill was born in Baxter Springs, Kan., and graduated from high school in Riverton, Kan. He earned a BA degree in music at Bethany Nazarene College, a MS in education at Emporia State College and an EdD at the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Bill was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He was an educator, music lover, avid golfer and gardener.
He started his career in education as the music instructor at the high school in Cottonwood Falls, Kan., where his son Randy was born. Two years later, he and Alice moved to Paola, Kan., where he taught at the high school and launched a career education program. Soon after, his daughter Kris was born.
Fifteen years later, the family moved to Warrensburg, Mo., where Bill was a professor in the Business School at Central Missouri State College—now the University of Central Missouri (UCM). For the last 10 years of his tenure at UCM, he was the Director of the Business Internship Program. His deep devotion to the programs he led at the high school and college levels helped thousands of students gain experience with businesses and jump-start their careers.
Bill loved music throughout his life, from his days as an a capella choir member at Bethany College, through his time as high school band director at Cottonwood Falls, as choir director at the First Presbyterian Church in Paola, as choir member at the First Presbyterian Church in Warrensburg, and finally, by serenading the residents at Langford Assisted Living in Fayetteville. He also enjoyed playing the piano for family and friends.
A sports lover, he was an ardent fan of KU Jayhawks basketball, KC Royals baseball and KC Chiefs football, but he is best remembered as the dad who regularly hit fielding practice for the neighborhood baseball-playing kids. As an adult, he was never far from a golf course and a perpetual optimist about the prospect of playing; no matter the weather, he would say, "The sun will be shining by 1:00!"
Whether through education, music, or simply his gregarious personality, he brought joy to many lives. He was universally known for his steadfast gracious and positive outlook and loved by all.
Memorial service details will be forthcoming. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the UCM Alumni Foundation. Designate "UCM Business Internship Scholarship in honor of Dr. Bill Garber" to: University of Central Missouri Alumni Foundation, P. O. Box 800, Smiser Alumni Center, Warrensburg, Mo. 64093. To place an online tribute, please visit

Published October 27, 2022

Nelson-Berna Funeral Home and Crematory
4520 North Crossover Road, P.O. Box 8982, Fayetteville, AR
Phone: 479-521-5000