Edward James (Ted) Garnett, 97, of Conrad, Montana passed away on October 7, 2018.
Ted was born in Willow Creek, Montana on April 19, 1921. His parents were John and Mina Garnett. In 1939 he graduated from Willow Creek High School. During high school, he and his brother Bob took turns milking his widow neighbors’ 4 cows for $5 per month. After high school, he attended Eastern Montana College to become a teacher. While at Eastern, he and his brother joined the Montana 163rd Infantry National Guard. The guard mobilized in September 1940 and he was sent to Camp Murray Washington to train. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in January 1941, the 41st division was sent to Port Angelos, Washington to protect the Straits of Juan de Fuca from Japanese invasion. Shortly after, he was sent to Australia on the Queen Elizabeth to train and then was sent on to New Guinea. During a mortar firing exercise, a mortar exploded as it came out of the tube, killing several men in his platoon and severely injuring him. He was hospitalized and eventually sent home in 1945.
After arriving home he enrolled at Montana State College and met his future wife, Georgia Mooney. They were married in 1948 and had a 68 year marriage. After graduating in 1949, he became a County Extension Agent for Broadwater County. In 1954 he bought and rented some land northwest of Conrad where he raised cattle and farmed. After retirement, they enjoyed spending winters in Mesa, Arizona and traveling. In 2005, Ted and Georgia moved to Blue Sky Villa in Conrad where they made many cherished friends and fellow cribbage players.
Ted was a very social person, who enjoyed stopping and visiting with anyone, whether he knew them or not. After a short time, he would know all about their life and who their kids were and all their names. Unlike the average person, when he would run into these people, however long it was, he would remember all their names and how old they would be and where they lived. He usually tied every event to something that happened on the farm. He knew the year the Conrad boys’ basketball (or girls) won a tournament or where they placed because that was the year it “started snowing the first of November and I had to feed cows until the end of March”. He so enjoyed doing coffee all the way from the days of the Silver Moon Cafe, through the Home Café , Olson’s Drug, and finally Folklore. Visits from his grandkids and great grandkids were cherished by him. He and Georgia were avid readers and kept the Conrad Library busy lining up new books for them to read.
Throughout Ted’s life, he was a realist. Anytime there was a difficult decision that needed to be made, he made it and never looked back. This carried through right up until May of this year when he decided he needed to move into PMC Extended Care in Conrad. He had seen the wonderful care that was given Georgia just a year previous and felt it would be the right thing to do. His final days were spent comfortably under their loving care. Ted had a long, interesting life and he will be missed by many.
Ted was preceded in death by his parents, wife Georgia, brother Bob, sister Lois, and daughter Margaret. He is survived by son Brian (Linda) Garnett of Conrad; son Gordon (Cindy) Garnett of Inman, South Carolina; grandchildren; Jessica (Troy) McKeehan; Steven Garnett, David (Theresa) Garnett; Ashley Starr; Scott, Becky and Brayden Garnett; Randy and Robert Ator; along with sister in law JoAnn Swenson of Kalispell, Montana, and numerous great grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews. At Ted’s request, there will be no services. The family asks that any memorials be made to the Conrad Public Library Foundation, 15 4th Avenue SW, Conrad, Montana, 59425