Judy H. Garren

February 22, 1927November 3, 2019

Judy Hair Garren of Columbia, widow of L. Talley (Buddy) Garren, Jr., passed away on Sunday, November 3, 2019 at home.

Judy was born in Columbia to Julian E. and Lossie Boozer Hair on February 22, 1927. She graduated from Columbia High School and the University of South Carolina. After graduation, she married Buddy and for many years she was a full time wife and mother. Eventually she established a kindergarten in her home and taught many five year olds long before public kindergarten was available in South Carolina. Later she began teaching first grade in public school, first in Lexington District #2 and then in Richland School District #1. She then moved to Chapin Elementary School where she taught until she retired. In 1979 she was honored as the Lexington District #5 Teacher of the Year.

Judy was a lifelong member of Ascension Lutheran Church. Over the course of her life she served on many church committees, taught children’s Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, and was active in Lutheran Church Women and the church’s Leisure Time group. Judy loved playing bridge with her friends and was an outstanding cook.

In addition to her parents and her husband, Judy was preceded in death by her son Mark Garren, her sister Betty Hair Webb, and her sister in law Tetia Garren. Surviving family members include her children: Betsy Myers (Berlin), Catherine Garren, Talley Garren (Kay), Bobby Garren (Lynne), Fred Garren (Betty), Charles Garren (Kay), Carole Garren, Joyce McKulka, and Mike Garren (Kani). She is also survived by her grandchildren: Johannah Myers, Austin Garren, Stacey Cochran (Adam), Juliane Garren, Rachael Pilcher (Sean), Kim Long (Joey), Jeffrey McKulka, Joseph McKulka, Catherine McKulka, and Jonah Garren and great grandchildren – Ben, Anna Kate, and Meghan Cochran; Shane and Shelby Pilcher; Hannah Grace and Avery Long. Judy is also survived by her daughter in law Carole D. Garren, her sister in law Betty Amick (Buck) and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and special friends.

A memorial service for Judy will be held at Ascension Lutheran Church at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 7, 2019. Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 P.M. on Wednesday at Dunbar Funeral Home, Dutch Fork Chapel, Irmo. Burial will be private.

The family would like to thank Lighthouse Hospice Group for the compassionate care and support that they provided.

The family requests that memorials be made to the program fund at Ascension Lutheran Church (827 Wildwood Ave., Columbia, SC 29203), or to Sharing God’s Love (147 Friarsgate Blvd., Irmo, SC 29063), or to the charity of one’s choice.


  • Visitation Wednesday, November 6, 2019
  • Memorial Service Thursday, November 7, 2019


Judy H. Garren

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Blaire and Gilbert Smoak

November 6, 2019

Gilbert and I wanted to send our prayers to the entire Garren family. We go back so many years with Judy. She was Gilbert's kindergarten teacher and I taught with her for many years at Chapin Elementary. She was such a wonderful and lovely lady!! We are so fortunate that Judy touched our lives!! Please know that our love and prayers are with you now!!

Betty Amick

November 5, 2019

I never heard her say an unkind word about any person. We will miss her so much.

Carol Anderson

November 5, 2019

Judy was my hero - I learned so much about teaching from her. My time as her "partner" was the best I ever had. Thanks, Judy, for sharing and caring for children and your fellow educators. You will be truly missed!!!

Russell Truluck

November 4, 2019

Mrs. Garren was my very first teacher. I was actually too young to remember much other than the fact she rescued me after I stock a pair of scissors into an electrical socket. I can still see the back residue on her wall above that outlet.