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Betty Garnett, an Industry Example, Passes Away
Betty Garnett Passes Away: Betty Garnett was one of the early women to have a leadership influence in our industry. Thanks Betty for being such a positive influence on many of us in the pallet industry.
By Ed Brindley
Date Posted: 6/1/2008
With sadness we report that Betty Garnett of Garnett Wood Products passed away on Sunday, April 27 at 82 years of age. Readers who have known Betty know that she was one of the most outstanding and respected women in the pallet industry. When I think about women in our industry, Betty’s name always jumps to the front.
Everybody who knew Betty knew her penchant for hard work. Whether it was keeping the company books or managing a plant full of men from a forklift, Betty did it all. She had an amazing ability to take charge and make the necessary decisions but do so with compassion and understanding of those with whom she worked.
Certainly one of the blessings that Betty had in her life was her family. Her husband Jess was one of the most unforgettable people I have ever met. After marrying him in 1944, Betty followed him throughout the Midwest as he rose in the ranks of Trumbull Asphalt Company. She held jobs with the Internal Revenue Service, the Tinker Airforce Base, and real estate development. Betty contributed her life to the overall management of Garnett Wood Products. While Jess unquestionably was important to the company business, Betty’s dedication allowed him the time to become deeply involved in state politics where he served as a highly respected member of the Missouri House of Representatives. Behind a good man you will usually find a good woman. Certainly this was true in the case of Betty and Jess Garnett.
Her two sons, Mark and his wife Diann, and Jay and his wife Karen, gave Betty two granddaughters, Kimberly and Stephanie, and two grandsons, Jonathan and Matthew, as well as three great grandchildren, Kayla, Ethan, and Ella.
Always very involved in her church, Betty was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in West Plains, Missouri.
I found it interesting that Betty was an avid sports fan, particularly basketball. She followed her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to football games in Ava and little league baseball games at Preacher Roe field. She would drive to smaller towns around West Plains and watch high school boys and girls basketball games. She and Jess were big MSU Grizzlies fans.
Those of us who were fortunate enough to know Betty have lost a true friend, and we understand that our industry lost a person whose life made a difference. Our industry is better off because of Betty’s influence. She was one of those special people whose shoes cannot be filled. Thanks Betty for being a special friend to so many in our industry.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the MSU-West Plains Jess and Betty Garnett Family Scholarship Fund, c/o Robertson-Drago Funeral Home, 211 West Main Street, West Plains, MO 65775 or to the American Cancer Society.