Mary Brooks Garner, 96, a long-time resident of the Decatur area, passed away peacefully on January 25th in the Mid-Century Modern home designed by her architect husband, where she nourished a devoutly Christian setting for their three children. Born in Atlanta to Eugene and Zaretta Estes Brooks, Mary graduated from Washington Seminary and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1941 from the University of Georgia. As our country went to war, she married Thomas "Ed" Garner, who served honorably as an Army Sergeant with the Signal Corps in the Pacific theater. During WWII, this patriotic wife volunteered at the U.S. Army Commissary and lived with her grandfather, Louis Estes, founder of Estes Surgical Supply. When reunited, Mary and Ed shared the quintessential American dream of family love, home entertaining with her sister and two brothers, art, and golf at East Lake Country Club, where she served as chairman of the women's golf association. This devoted couple were both gifted artists, creating Christmas cards together as well as their own watercolor paintings. Guided by the Southern cooking influence of Julia Mae Hillman, Mary's skills as a baker (celebrated for her homemade sugar cookies) inspired her daughters, who excel in their kitchens to this day. A knowledgeable and ardent gardener, Mary was among the earliest members of the Parkwood Garden Club. Raised in Inman Park Presbyterian Church, she was a decades-long member of Decatur Presbyterian Church. Mary was preceded in death by her husband. Survivors include son, Tom Garner of McKinney, Texas; daughters, Alice Saroka, along with her husband Tom, of Lawrenceville; Anne Stewart of Ranger, Georgia; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. A graveside service will be at 2:00 PM at Decatur Cemetery for immediate family. A memorial service will be held on January 28, 2015 at 3:00PM at Decatur Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Parkwood Garden Club (for the Parkwood Park), P.0. Box 3472, Decatur, GA 30031; or to Decatur Presbyterian Church. Grissom-Clark F.H., 227 East Lake Dr., SE (at Memorial Dr.), Atlanta, 404-373-3191.www.grissom-clarkfh.com
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