The Transylvania Times -

Robert David Garren

 

Robert David Garren

Robert David Garren, 94, was born Jan. 31, 1922 in Brevard to Mamie Galloway and Robert Wesley Garren. After suffering a heart attack, he passed away with his children by his side March 12, 2016 in Raleigh, N.C.

He, who lived his first 91 years in Transylvania County, endured a childhood of poverty during the Great Depression. Along with his memories of getting his first pocket knife at three years old (and losing it); of playing with a baby rabbit brought over the mountain in a sack by an old man at 4 years old; and at 13 tasting mayonnaise with some girls from church, were his memories of hunger and cold.

At the age of 13 he quit school to work fulltime as a laborer in farm fields. He worked hard and always resented that he was paid five cents per hour and the grown men got 10 cents.

At 17 he worked briefly in the WPA CCC clearing for roads but did not enjoy the hands-on brush and tree clearing and when his father found a job for him at the Tannery in Brevard he jumped at the chance.

His work at the Tannery was interrupted by service to his country in the United States Army during World War II. Captured by the Germans, he suffered frozen feet and near starvation. Along with other POWs, he was forced to build barricades, which they managed to sabotage and weaken by leaving out part of the cement. They were never caught. Near the end of the war he was released and returned home pencil thin to his beloved "Momma."

He met Lucille Nix through her sister and they were soon married and raising their family. He started working at Olin and he and his father built a new house by hand. Throughout the years the family maintained a large garden, camped at Myrtle Beach for summer vacations and visited family. The kids grew up and to his shock, all of them moved to the flatlands.

He retired from Olin after 32 years and then started rebuilding lawn mowers and selling them from his yard. He became widely known over the next 29 years for his mowers, but he said what he enjoyed the most was dealing with and getting to know the people who came by.

He and his wife enjoyed life traveling with friends to all 50 states and 17 countries. They took part in their church, enjoyed time with friends and participated in Gospel singings and conventions. They helped each other through numerous medical problems.

At 91 and 86 they moved to Raleigh to be near their children. He selflessly cared for his wife throughout her long ordeal with cancer, even as it undermined his own well-being. Over the next two years his family made sure he still enjoyed life and was never alone.Throughout his life he was a remarkably resilient man, always saying "nothing bad is going to happen."

He is survived by his four children, June Jones and husband, Van, of Raleigh, Randall Garren, of Durham, N.C., Donna Miller and husband, Wayne, of Apex, N.C. and Vivian Rose and husband, Mike, of Timberlake, N.C .; his grandchildren, Phillip Jones and wife, Jamie, of Raleigh, Peter Jones, of Cambridge, Mass. and Lari Trombley and husband, Trevor, of Camp Humphreys, South Korea; and his great-granddaughter, Kira Trombley.

The family thanks all the friends who have helped along the way and kept in touch, making his relocation easier. Also endless thanks to all the medical staff and many caregivers who have helped him through his journey, especially Quadyrrah Adams, who made it possible for him to remain independent and enjoy life.

Flowers are welcome and contributions can be made to Turkey Creek Baptist Church.

The family received visitors from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, 2016, at Moore Funeral Home in Brevard.

Funeral service will be at Turkey Creek Baptist Church in Pisgah Forest at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 17, followed by interment at Blue Ridge Gardens of Memory in Pisgah Forest.

To leave a condolence for the Garren family, go to "Obituaries" at http://www.moore-fh.com.

Moore Funeral Home & Cremation Services is caring for the family.

 
 

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