Glenna Hope Morton Garner, 94, died Feb. 22, 2005, at Ash Flat Nursing and Rehabilitation Center after being ill for several months.
Born Sept. 3, 1910, on her family's farm in the Martin Creek Community, she was the daughter of John and Hattie Booth Morton. Her early education was in a one-room school (Oak Grove) located some 2 1/2 miles from her home.
After completing 8th grade at age 13, she was selected to serve as a part-time teacher after passing the Teacher's Examination, a series of stringent written school exams.
She received her teaching certificate and at age 18, upon graduation from Willow Springs (Mo.) High School, she became a full-time teacher at the one-room schoolhouse in Oak Grove and later in the Caraway area. The Missouri high school was chosen by her family because it was an accredited school where Garner ultimately could earn her teaching credential.
Garner began her long-term teaching career at Williford in 1935, serving at both the elementary and high school levels for 25 years. Most of her time there was spent in the business department. Her students were in great demand for hire in the surrounding communities once they graduated from WHS because of their superior skills earned under her tutelage.
On Aug. 9, 1935, she married Jesse Roland Garner. She shared many happy years with him until his death in 1954. Their son, Henry Boyd Garner, was born Oct. 16, 1936.
Garner continued to attend colleges at Jonesboro and Conway over the years, as time and money allowed, finally graduating with her bachelor's degree in 1955. She retired from teaching in 1960 and decided to direct her energy and abilities in a new direction. She joined Cooper Communities in Cherokee Village as office manager in the sales department, where she served for 22 years.
During that time, her son met and married Kay Georgene Swanson, a fellow student at Arizona State University. Their children -- Lisa Diane, George Roland and Jess Andre -- became the lights of their grandma's life.
While at Cooper Communi-ties, she became active in several major community projects, serving on the Sharp County Library Board for 15 years. In 1985, she was named Library Board Member of the Year by the State Library Commission. She helped establish the Friends of the Library, an active support group for the county library. She was a charter member of the Sharp County Historical Society and served as its secretary. She held various offices in the County Retired Teacher Association, and remained a faithful and devoted member of the Church of Christ, where she conducted children's Bible study classes for over 60 years.
After retiring from Cooper Communities in September 1978, she pursued her interest in traveling. She visited Hawaii, enjoyed cruises with family and friends, and took bus trips to various points of interest in the southern and eastern parts of the country.
She became a local author in her later years by supervising, researching and coordinating the printing of several journals telling the history of the area in which she lived and worked. Some of them were Yesterday's Williford, a story of the settlement and past history of this small town in the Ozark Mountains; Hilltop Memories, based on personal interviews with local residents; and a History of The One-Room Schools of Sharp County, a historical account of the county's principal contribution to Arkansas' sesquicentennial celebration in 1986.
She was vitally interested in the educational system, speaking up for accountability and respect in the classroom. She had a personal involvement with each student, making each one of them feel special and important. Many times she would speak to fellow teachers and map out a plan to get a student who required extra help on a subject the tools needed to learn and grow.
Asked once why she always seemed to be in a good mood, she replied, "When I walk up those steps to the school and I see all those beautiful faces looking up at me, I just get a smile on my face that stays with me even after the last bell rings."
She is survived by her son, Henry Boyd Garner and his wife, Kay, of Oak Park, Calif.; her granddaughter, Lisa Diane Inglis, and her husband, Bill, of Scottsdale, Ariz; her grandsons -- George Roland Garner of Phoenix, Ariz., and Jess Andre Garner and his wife, Karen, from Simi Valley, Calif.; and three great-grandchildren -- Cody James Inglis, Henry Cole Inglis and Molly Adair Garner.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jesse Roland Garner of Williford; and her sister, Edna Morton Atkinson of Jonesboro.
The funeral was Feb. 28 at Heath Oak Hill Chapel with Dr. Charles Crawford officiating. Burial was at Williford Ceme-tery with arrangements by Heath Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the following organizations in Garner's name:
* Sharp County Library Association, 201 Church Street, Hardy, AR 72542.
* Sharp County Historical Society, P.O. Box 185, Ash Flat, AR 72513, Dr. Audrey Thompson, president.
* St. Bernard's Development Foundation, Auxiliary House, 915 Wilkins Avenue, Jonesboro, AR 72401 (This organization provides low cost lodging for cancer patients).
* American Cancer Society, 1205 South Madison St., Jonesboro, AR 72401; or a donation to an organization of your choice.