Celebrating the life of Hugh Barnard Garnett
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Residing at 320 Paseo de Vida, Garnett was a former Altus City Councilman, the owner and operator of KWHW, and the owner and manager of Garnett Loans.
Garnett was the son of pioneer Altus settlers, Elmer Logan and Lela Barnard Garnett. Born in Altus on July 12, 1911, Garnett attended public schools in Altus and was raised in the family home at 801 East Commerce Street.
Following graduation from Altus High School in 1928, he attended the University of Oklahoma, where he graduated in 1932 with a B.S. degree in Business. At O.U. he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta social fraternity.
Returning to Altus after graduation, Garnett began 60 years of public service to this community and to Jackson County. He was a longtime member of the Board of Control of Jackson County Memorial Hospital, and in 1948 helped obtain the Hill-Burton funds for the construction of the hospital. He was Chairman of the Jackson County Chapter of the American Red Cross (1951-1952), President of the Black Beaver Council of the Boy Scouts of America (1951-1952), President of the Altus Real Estate Board (1949), and President of the Altus Chamber of Commerce (1941). He joined the Altus Rotary Club in 1933, and was an active participant in the club's activities for more than 60 years. He had many years of perfect attendance, and was elected to a variety of offices, including President. He was program chairman for eight years, and a Paul Harris Fellow. As a City Council member in the 1950's he was instrumental in changing Altus to a City Manager form of government, which led to the selection of Altus as an All-American City.
On December 30, 1939 he was married to the former Glee Miller, also a graduate of O.U., who survives him.
During World War II Garnett was commissioned First Lieutenant of Field Artillery. He was promoted to Captain, and served in a variety of training posts at bases in the United States during the war.
His influence with his close friend and college fraternity brother, United States Senator Mike Monroney, was crucial in securing the United States Air Force Base in Altus.
With his wife Glee, Garnett was a lifelong Democrat and an active supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union in Oklahoma. He was chairman of the Oklahoma Council on Crime and Delinquency Commission which recommended several prison reforms. At O.U. he was a founding member and served as chairman of the Sooner Associates for Excellence, for which the University honored him in 1988.
Following retirement from the loan business and as a Vice President of the National Bank of Commerce, Garnett became interested in broadcasting and purchased KWHW. He greatly increased public affairs programming at the station and added an FM outlet. Before retiring from this second career he had also owned and operated KWON in Bartlesville and KNOR in Norman.
He was a longtime treasurer of the First Methodist Church in Altus.
Garnett had traveled widely throughout the United States, Europe and Asia with his wife and family. He had visited China seven times, with the first visit in the early 1970's when the country was first opened to western tourism.
His optimism defined his character. He saw only the best and expected only the best from people and events, and as a consequence, they almost always delivered. On the few occasions they didn't, he was tolerant and forgiving, and almost never expressed disappointment.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Mrs. Marjorie McAskill of Altus. He is survived by his wife, Glee of Altus; two children, Jean Garnett (Mrs. Hugh J.) Moore of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Hugh B. Garnett, Jr., of Lake Texoma, Texas; two grandchildren, Lela Miller Moore of Hoboken, N.J. and Sarah Garnett Moore of Nashville, Tennessee; two sisters, Jean (Mrs. Charles) Engleman of Clinton and Ruth (Mrs. Louis K.) Sharpe of Checotah; a brother, Logan Garnett of Altus and many nieces and nephews.
First United Methodist Church
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