OBITUARY

MARY JUNE GARNER

June 6, 1927June 20, 2019
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Mary June Purtle (June) Garner, 92, of Little Rock, died peacefully on Thursday, June 20th , surrounded by her daughters, at Casa Zoe, Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

She was born in Cale, Arkansas to Hesterly and Opal Purtle and was the second oldest in the family of five children. Being the oldest daughter, she was known for her being a great help to her mother, a good student and a reader (when time permitted).

June marrried Oather T. Garner in 1948 in LIttle Rock. The couple has two surviving daughters, Susan New of Ajijic, Jalisco and Portland, Oregon and Judy Jennings of Portland, Oregon. Her grandchildren, Audrey Garner Jennings and Zachary New both reside in Seattle, Washington. She was a loving and attentive wife, mother and grandmother.

She is also survived by her sister, Pat Porter of Artesia, New Mexico and her sisters-in-law, Bennie Purtle and Irma Sue Purtle, of Sutton, Arkansas. She was preceded into death by her parents Hesterly and Opal Purtle, her husband, Oather Garner and by her brothers Hesterly, Jr, Jake and James Purtle and many much loved family on the Purtle and Garner side.

She graduated from Central Highschool in Laneburg, Arkansas in 1944. Participating in the Nurse’s Army Corp Program of World War II, she received her RN diploma at Baptist Hospital in LIttle Rock in 1948. Her nursing career would span the next 40 years and include a BS degree in Nursing at University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a Master’s of Nursing from Emory University. She went on to be a director of nursing studies at University of Central Arkansas, Conway and Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, introducing a novel program for educating nurses throughout the state and beyond. She was prolific writer, lecturer and consultant on nursing curriculum internationally. She ended her career as the Executive Director of the Arkansas State Board of Nursing in 1989.

Her retirement saw an increased attention to her church, Tyler Street Baptist Church, where she was active in the choir, Prayer Warriors and advised the Bangalore Baptist Hospital in Bagalor, India on its nursing program through a Church ministry. Her teaching skills and love of quilting were put to good use through her volunteer work at Friendship Village where she taught quilting to those international travelers at University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

She was well-loved as a mentor, teacher, friend, and, at the last years of her life, as a resident, in all of the communities she touched.

Services will be held at Griffin Leggett Healy and Roth 5800 W. 12th Street, Little Rock, (501) 66109111. Visitation is scheduled 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 7/11 with funeral at 10 a.m. Friday, 7/12. Burial will be at the Garner Cemetery in Dallas County at 1 pm Friday, 7/12. To sign the online guestbook, click “Add A Memory” at: www.griffinleggetthealeyroth.com

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, July 11, 2019
  • Funeral Service Friday, July 12, 2019
  • Committal Service Friday, July 12, 2019

Memories

MARY JUNE GARNER

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Sue Tedford

July 15, 2019

On behalf of the board members and staff of the Arkansas State Board of Nursing I would like to express our sympathy for the loss of such a wonderful person and nurse. June served as Executive Director long before my time but I have heard about her and the work she accomplished during her tenure at the Board. Due to her hard work and dedication our nursing profession is where it is today. We want to the family to know she will be missed.

Sue Tedford
ASBN Executive Director

Earl Paul

July 10, 2019

Mrs. (June) and Mr. (Oather) Garner were among the Saints of Tyler St. Baptist Church who role modeled the love of Christ for the children of Oak Forest through the 50's, 60's &70's. Later, in my young adult years I was privileged to work with June at Baptist Health, and in her official capacity with the State Nursing Board. She was a competent and diligent professional dedicated to the wellbeing of patients. Her life was a blessing to all who knew her.

Donald & Patsy Montgomery

July 10, 2019

June was a very special lady at Tyler Street Baptist Church. She was my Sunday School teacher for several years. She and Oather were faithful members for many years and we loved them dearly.
Our prayers, sympathy and love to you girls and family.
Donald & Patsy Montgomery

Sarah Thornton

July 9, 2019

Mrs Garner was instrumental in the early success of the UCA School of Nursing. The program owes so much to her.
Sarah Daugherty Thornton (BSN 1973, MSN 1992)

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