Mr. Carl Andrew Garner, Jr.
Carl Andrew Garner, Jr., age 84, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on May 7, 2019. Funeral services for Carl will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church with Rev. Michael Martin and Dr. Boyd Whaley officiating. Interment will follow at Norcross City Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Friday, May 10, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the Peachtree Corners Chapel of Crowell Brothers Funeral Homes & Crematory.
Carl was born January 11, 1935 at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta. The son of Carl Andrew Garner, Sr. and Mary Hood Garner, he was a fourth generation native of Gwinnett County and a lifelong resident of Norcross. Educated in the Norcross public schools, Carl attended Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, where he played football, and the University of Georgia. He served six years in the Georgia National Guard. In 1971 he married Joan Camp Garner and they had two children, Carl Andrew Garner III and Amanda Joan Garner. Carl was a devoted Christian, husband, father, and brother as well as a tireless servant of his church and community. He will be most remembered for his kind, loving and generous spirit. He was a true Southern Gentleman.
After working briefly for Hood Oil Company in Atlanta, his mother's family business, Carl followed his grandfather, father and uncle in the retail grocery business. He owned and managed Carl Garner and Son on Buford Highway until 1966 before purchasing Garner's Store in downtown Norcross, which his grandfather, J.R. Garner, opened in 1907 and his uncle Minor Garner had owned since the 1940s. He was the last grocer in town to sell goods on credit when he closed the store in 1978.
In addition to the grocery business, Carl was a bank director. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Norcross, and in 1968 was an organizing director of Gwinnett Bank and Trust Company. He served as chairman of the loan committee at GB&T from the late 1970s until the bank merged with Georgia Railroad Bank in 1986.
Carl loved his hometown and was very active in civic and government affairs. He was appointed to fill a vacant city council seat at age 26, and served three consecutive terms on the council during the 1960s. In 1970 he was elected Mayor and was re-elected in 1972. During his terms as Mayor he established a planning and zoning board, upgraded the water and sewer systems as well as the city power grid and was instrumental in preparing Norcross for the rapid growth that would follow in the late 70s and 80s. He also negotiated with the Southern Railroad to preserve the historic Norcross Depot. After leaving the Mayor's office he was appointed to the Norcross Public Housing Authority, serving as chairman for over 25 years.
Carl spent many hours volunteering with Dixie Youth baseball and football. He coached and served in numerous capacities with the Norcross High School football booster club. He rarely missed a Norcross High football game. He organized the Norcross Old Timer's Baseball Association and was influential in establishing the Norcross Baseball Hall of Fame which bears his name. Carl was a Norcross volunteer fireman and one of the original organizers of the Norcross Car Show.
During his retirement Carl spent much of his time on his farm in Dahlonega raising cattle and tending to his horses. An avid Georgia Bulldog fan, he was a football season ticket holder for over 50 years.
A lifelong Methodist, Carl served in numerous leadership roles at Norcross First United Methodist Church and Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church, including chairman of the administrative board at both churches. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Joan Camp Garner, a son, Carl Andrew Garner III of Rome and a daughter, Amanda Joan Garner (Scott Gunter) of Dahlonega, his brother, James Hood Garner, Sr. (Linda) of Norcross, and numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church or The National Multiple Sclerosis Society in memory of "Carl Andrew Garner Jr.". Online condolences may be expressed at www.crowellbrothers.com. Arrangements entrusted by Crowell Brothers Funeral Homes & Crematory, 5051 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092. 770-448-5757.