Thursday, April 27, 2017

James Ray “Butch” Garner

Mr. James Ray “Butch” Garner, 89, passed away on Thursday, April 27, 2017, at the Martha Jo Leslie State Veterans Home in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Funeral services will be at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2017; at Morgan Chapel Baptist Church in Sturgis, Mississippi, with Rev. Billy Garner officiating. Visitation will be the day of the service from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the church. Interment will follow in Morgan Chapel Baptist Church Cemetery.

James was born February 19, 1928, to Ruel McCager and Ottie Patterson Garner. He is a member of Antioch Baptist Church. He was married to Mavis Collier Garner for 59 years and together they raised their four children in Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Garner owned two grocery stores in Memphis and in 1974, they moved to Sturgis, Mississippi, where he opened the famous “Garner’s Meat Processing” in 1976. He loved his family, loved his friends, loved his business, and loved the Lord. He didn’t really know how to say “I love you” but he knew how to show “love” to everyone he met. If you knew him, you loved him.  

Mr. Garner is survived by three daughters, Beth Hathcock and husband, Barry of Macon, Mississippi; Amy Jo Smith and husband, Fred, of Nesbit, Mississippi; and Meg Gregory and husband, Arnold of Sturgis; and one son, Dennis Ray Garner and wife, Donna, also of Sturgis. One of his greatest joys was being “PawPaw” to his 11 grandchildren: Joshua Hathcock (Crissy), Jeremy Hathcock, Cager Garner (Maris), Travis Garner, Joby Garner (Brittany), Lainee Jeffers (Tony), Nikki Wood (Brian), Shelby Smith, Will Gregory (Ashley), Evan Gregory, and Emily Gregory. He is also survived by 11 great-grandchildren: Carson James Hathcock, Avery Garner, Ty Garner, McClain Garner, Audrey Garner, Dottie Garner, Baylee Garner, Camilla Jeffers, Lucy Jeffers, Julianne Wood, and Lois Wood. He is also survived by five sisters: Linnie Mae Johnson, Lynn Morrow, Earline Burns, Judy Barnes, Janice Maravelias and by three brothers, J. W. Garner, Billy Garner, and Ruel Garner; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, and friends. Mr. Garner was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; and five siblings, Buck Garner, Bonnie Hurst, Nell Smith, Martha Garner, and Jo Ellen Biddle.

Serving as pallbearers are Cager Garner, Joby Garner, Travis Garner, Evan Gregory, Will Gregory, Jeremy Hathcock, and Joshua Hathcock. Memorial contributions in honor of Mr. Garner may be given to Morgan Chapel Baptist Church, 2646 Morgantown Road, Sturgis, MS 39769.

Services are under the direction of Nowell-Massey Funeral Home, 724 North Columbus Avenue, Louisville, MS. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family by signing the guest register at