James Russell Garner

James Garner was born in Kokomo, Indiana in 1921 and passed away peacefully on June 12, 2011 at his home in Newport Beach. After spending his early childhood in Chicago, he moved with his family to Pasadena. Jim attended Pasadena City College where he played football, and he married LaVonne Peckham in 1943 before heading off to serve in the Pacific in World War II.

After the War, Jim attended the University of Southern California, and he graduated from USC Engineering School in 1948. He was a mechanical engineer and plant manager for over 30 years before retiring in the 1980s.

Jim’s greatest joy was traveling with LaVonne, his loving wife of 62 years, and he especially cherished the trips they took with the USC travel group. In his younger days, he was an avid sailor and body surfer, and he was an outstanding woodworker who delighted in restoring and building antique furniture for friends and relatives.

Family and friends were also a great source of enjoyment for “Jimmy.”  He is survived by son Jon Garner (Ginny), daughters Brynn Enevoldsen (Kjeld), Shelley Belling (Phil) and Trish Jacobs (Larry), grandchildren Michael and Amy Garner, Blair and Charlotte Belling, and Lindsay and Greer Jacobs, great-grandson Noah Garner, brother Don Garner and sister Nancy Earl.

Services are pending and will be private.  In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in Jim’s memory to Hoag Cancer Center, 1 Hoag Drive, P.O. Box 6100, Newport Beach, CA 92658-6100, and the USC Scholarship Fund, USC University Advancement, 3551 Trousdale Parkway, Suite 160, Los Angeles, CA 90089-4017.  

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