Cochran Funeral Home of Blairsville announces the Funeral Services of Merritt G Garner (Jerry) died peacefully in his sleep of congestive heart failure in his home in Young Harris ,Georgia on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014.
He was 92 years old , born Feb. 27th, 1922 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Jerry will be buried with full military honors at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Canton , Georgia, Tuesday, March 11. Merritt G Garner served his country in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. As a fighter pilot in WWII, Jerry Flew Photo Reconnaissance missions, four missions on the morning of the D-Day Invasion of Europe. He was the youngest squadron commander at 22 and honored as the first American pilot to command a Royal Air Force Squadron in the European theater. Later he served as the Air-Attache in the American Embassy in Warsaw, Poland behind the Iron Curtain. Jerry was also honored to give Charles Lindberg his first ride in a Jet aircraft while serving as commander of the fighter test squadron at Eglin Air Force base in Florida. In Vietnam, he was Director of Public relations for Armed Forces radio and television service. His last military job was at the Pentagon, assigned as Chief of the Sino-Soviet desk for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, DC.
After his military service, Jerry was vice President of Marketing for Landmark Banks in Ft.Lauderdale, Florida, and Vice President of Sapphire Valley Development corporation and general manager of Sapphire Valley Golf and Country Club in Western North Carolina. He also managed special projects for Waste Management Corporation and as Director of Public Affairs. He participated in research and survey work related to international bids in Caracas, Venezuela as well as Riyadh and Jedda, Saudi Arabia.
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn F. Garner, his two children: J.P. Garner (Christine) and Christa Garner Young (Jere). He also has 4 grandchildren, Jonathan Young (Dana), Stephen Young (Rachel), Stephanie Young and Sierra Garner and 2 great-great grandchildren, Shiloh Merritt Sylva and Josie Grace Young.
If you wish to make a memorial contribution or in lieu of a gift of flowers, the family would prefer that you contribute to Compassion International. Rachel, his granddaughter is going on a mission trip to Nicaragua and any donations should be sent to the attention of: Bobby Keith, 12290 Voyager Parkway, Colorado Springs, Co. 80921 and Memo: Rachel Young, on the check. Or you may prefer to donate to The Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org. and specify a donation in memoriam.