Maxine Bass Garner – Obituary

By  | March 6, 2018 | Filed under: Bennett-May F.H., Obituaries

Maxine Bass Garner (April 28, 1925 – March 4, 2018)
Maxine Garner will be remembered for her gentle strength, loving ways, commitment to family and church, and her gracious, yet elegant appearance. Ellen Maxine Bass met her future husband, Stacey Aymett Garner, while they were both attending UT Knoxville. It is a familiar family story that Maxine pursued a job in the cafeteria on campus so she could get to know this Stacey Garner who had carried her lunch tray that day. Maxine was a Phi Beta Kappa honors graduate, Vice President of the Independent Student Association, and Sweetheart of the Air Force Fraternity while attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
She was born on April 28, 1925 to Lila Olell Wilkinson Bass and Stephen Royce Bass in Gibson, TN. They preceded her in death, as did her husband, Dr. Stacey Aymett Garner, on December 30, 2014. She has one sister, Mrs. Helen Ruth Bourgoyne, of Memphis, TN. Maxine was a 1943 graduate of Gibson County High School, where she excelled at academics and basketball and was the Humbolt, TN “Strawberry Festival Queen.”
She was an integral part of her husband, Dr. Stacey Garner’s life and his many roles of leadership throughout his life. She kept the home front smoothly operating while he tried to conscientiously serve the public. His favorite quote was, “Your mother is the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Maxine’s expressions of love knew no bounds. Her love was spontaneous and inclusive. She always had an ear to listen, a smile on her face, and a word of encouragement to uplift anyone who was down. Sleepovers and hospitality at her home were experiences no child, family, or friend wanted to miss.
Maxine represented the American Dental Association Auxiliary in Las Vegas, receiving its highest national award, “The Thelma J. Neff” award, in 2006, She was a charter member of the Tennessee Dental Auxiliary, with its formation in 1946. The organization was a support arm of the Tennessee Dental Association, benefiting dental health care for the public and supporting spouses’ careers.
It was easy for Maxine to be authentic. She enjoyed life! She was especially excited when she traveled with Stacey. They traveled the States and the world together and enjoyed it all the more because they had each other to share the experience with. She and Stacey married on December 21, 1947 in Gibson, TN. They lived the majority of their lives in Pulaski, TN. They were both lifetime members of the First United Methodist Church, and Maxine was a member of the United Methodist Women’s Organization. She was a member of the Giles County Democratic Party, a charter member of Hillcrest Country Club, and was the Giles County Girl Scouts Cookie Chairwoman.
She is survived by her sister, Helen Ruth Bourgoyne; children, Phyllis (Greg) Dugger, Angela (Riley) Lunn, and Kevin (Sarah) Garner; grandchildren Bill (Tara) Dugger, Forrest (Stephanie) Garner, and Ellen Garner; great grandchildren Willa Giles Dugger, Wylie Guy Dugger, and Stacey Guy Garner.
The family would like to express their deep appreciation for all those who helped Maxine in her last few years. Those who sent cards, came to visit, prayed for her, and cared for her, especially the staffs at Ivy Crest, NHC, and Southern Tennessee Regional Health.
This gracious, beautiful, and steadfast lady will be greatly missed by all who have known and loved her. Take a minute, in Maxine’s words, to “be sweet and kind,” for “this too, shall pass.”
Visitation will be on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, from 11:30 AM until 2:00 PM, at First United Methodist Church in Pulaski TN, with funeral to follow immediately at 2:00, at the church.
Donations may be made to: Fogg Cemetery, c/o Kevin Garner, 862 Garner Hollow Rd.
Pulaski, TN 38478

Bennett-May-Giles County Funeral Home in charge

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