Funeral service for Paul Garber, 91, Lawrence will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 1, 2014 at First Christian Church. Burial will follow at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Pleasant Grove.
Paul Garber, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away on January 25, 2014, at his home, surrounded by his loving family. Preceding him in death were his parents, his brothers Hugh and Earl, and his five sisters; May, Iva, Ruth, Anna & Mary, and his son, Gordon.
Paul was born on May 7, 1922 to Noah and Etta Whitstone Garber on the family farm near Sawyer, Kansas. He married Neva Crist of Westphalia, Kansas, on June 9, 1945. They were blessed with 68 years of happy marriage.
To this union five children were born: Gordon Garber (deceased), Patricia Gleue, married to husband David, Michael Garber, Priscilla McPheeters, married to husband Jeff, and Douglas Garber, married to wife Berniece. Paul and Neva were very proud of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Their 13 grandchildren include Matthew Gleue, Gretchen Garber Nelson, Holly Garber, Jenna Hayes, Lindsey Gleue, Noah Garber, Adam Garber, Micah Garber, Jacob Garber, Levi Garber, Isaac McPheeters, Paul McPheeters, Benjamin McPheeters, and Jessie Hoover. Their 20 great grandchildren are Tristan Garber, Keenan Garber, Aleah Garber, Ashton Garber, Cole Garber, Owen Garber, Drew Garber, Will Garber, Logan Garber, Brieonna Garber, Ethan Garber, Dalton Garber, Wyatt Garber, Jacob Hayes, Paxton Hayes, Bale Hayes, Kate Hayes, Skyler Gleue, Preston Gleue, and Spencer Gleue.
Paul’s father Noah died suddenly when Paul was only seventeen years of age. His brothers had died many years earlier, so Paul was the only surviving son. In spite of his youth, he took over the farm and provided for his aging mother. He became a very capable dairy farmer and had a successful farming operation.
In 1958 Paul and Neva received the Pratt County Balanced Farming Award. They and their five children were featured on the front page of the Pratt Tribune. Late that night a fire destroyed the large dairy barn, including all of the dairy equipment. This adversity would eventually change the course of their lives, and in 1959 Paul and Neva moved their young family to Lawrence, KS to begin a new life.
He was completely devoted to Neva and his children. A very diligent provider, he worked two jobs while pursuing his education at the University of Kansas. He was employed at Farmland Industries for 24 years and retired in 1985.
Paul was a self-educated man who loved to read. As a boy he memorized a staggering number of poems (many by Longfellow, his favorite poet), quotes and Bible verses. The very day he died his family was blessed to hear him quote President Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.”
A self-taught stone-mason, he laid the stone on their “Old English” cottage, and built many beautiful little barns on their country property.
Paul and Neva restored several old homes over the years for our family to live in. He could take an old home and turn it into a masterpiece. One of the homes they restored was added to the National Historical Registry. A master craftsman, he enjoyed restoring antique cars, tools and furniture. People would often say when they saw something Paul had restored that it had the “Paul Garber touch.”
It would be hard to find a man with a more noble heart. He was extremely kind, patient, gentle, strong, and wise. Although he possessed a brilliant and creative mind, he was known to be very humble. He always took time to listen to others, and had numerous friends from all walks of life. He and Neva are members of First Christian Church in Lawrence.
Paul was a man of deep faith in God. In spite of many hardships and tragedies in his life, he never doubted that God is good and loving. Paul stayed the course throughout his 91 years. All those who knew him felt blessed to know such a good man. Of him it could be said, “well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
The family will greet friends 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 31, 2014 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary.
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to First Christian Church or the Lawrence Humane Society and may be sent in care of the mortuary.