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Updated: 06/15/2014 08:00:02AM

Thomas Felton Garner

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Thomas “Felton” Garner, 82, of Arcadia, Fla., passed away peacefully Thursday, June 12, 2014, after a brief illness.

He was born Oct. 9, 1931, and, at the time of his passing, Felton still remained living in the family home where he was born and raised, in the Owens Community.

Felton was of a pioneer family whose roots were in cattle and citrus. He spent many a day with his elders learning life’s lessons on a horse and in the cow pens. In 1955, he became betrothed to Joanne Whidden. Felton and his sister, Gwendolyn Johnson, were co-owners of South Florida Motors Co. Inc. on Oak Street from 1971 until 1987. They also were co-owners of Garner Grove & Cattle Co. Inc. for many years. Felton was a member of the Rodeo Association, and was a DeSoto County Commissioner from 1980 until 1984, and 1992 until 2008. He took pride in his grandson Christopher’s activities. Felton loved spending time with his great-grandsons every day, watching them play and grow. He was known around town for his attire of a cowboy hat, starched white shirt and starched jeans. Always not a hair out of place, and a smile on his face. Felton loved spending time visiting, telling stories, and sharing meals with family and friends.

He is survived by his only daughter, Cheryl Joanne (Tommy) Stewart of Arcadia; his only grandson, Christopher (LeAnn) Stewart of Arcadia; and two great-grandsons, Whitley Thomas Stewart and Gibson Tillis Stewart of Arcadia. Felton was preceded in death by his parents, Daniel Whitley Garner and Rosa Alice (nee Morton) Garner; his wife, Joanne (nee Whidden) Garner; and seven siblings.

Visitation will be conducted from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Monday, June 16, 2014, at Ponger-Kays-Grady Funeral Home in Arcadia. A service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at Mount Ephraim Baptist Church, with the Rev. Jerry Waters officiating. Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements are by Ponger-Kays-Grady Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Arcadia.

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