Shirley Jean (Parks) Garnhart: June 4, 1928 – Nov. 12, 2018



Shirley J. Garnhart died Nov. 12, 2018 at a local facility under hospice care in Oak Harbor, after a brief illness. She was 90.

Shirley was born June 4, 1928 in Pontiac, Mich. to Ralph N. Parks and Gwendolyn Salome (Ball) Parks and grew up in Pontiac. She enjoyed her childhood, attended Christian Church, was active in the Girl Scouts of America and formed several life-long friendships. She earned her spending money from babysitting.

She was the oldest of three girls and maintained a deep and lasting friendship with her sisters. When she was just 10 years old, her mother was very ill for about six months. During and after that time, Shirley shouldered many household responsibilities. In 1944, at the end of her sophomore year in high school, the family moved to Southern California for her mother’s health, and settled in Pasadena. She earned her spending money working in nearby Thornton Carlson’s candy making and retailing shop, and also in the Sunkist wholesale lemon packing plant. While attending Pasadena Junior College, she met her husband-to-be, Gordon Garnhart. They dated for several years and were married June 25, 1950 in a double ceremony with Shirley’s sister Charlotte and Richard Hauck. Gordon had just finished his junior year as a mechanical engineering student at UCLA, and was planning to complete his studies in the following year.

But he was called into military service and eventually saw combat duty in the Korean War. He returned in the spring of 1952 and graduated from UCLA the following year. Their first child was born while he was still attending classes. Shirley held a very responsible position in accounting with the Pasadena office of General Motors Acceptance Corporation and continued until their first child was born. She then became a full-time homemaker and devoted her life to her husband, her daughters and her home.

During the time they lived in Downey, Calif., from 1958 to 1968, she was a Girl Scout troop leader. In 1968, Gordon was transferred from the Lynwood, Calif., plant to Everett, Wash. In 1998, after Gordon retired, they built a home and moved next door to daughter Linda in Oak Harbor.

Shirley was a member and participated actively in the life of First Baptist Church in Everett, and later First Reformed Church in Oak Harbor. Her hobbies included gardening, knitting, and reading. She was a faithful loving wife and a devoted mother and will be missed by all who knew her.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, and survived by her beloved husband of 68 years; sisters Charlotte Hauck of Duarte, Calif., and Janene Tressler, of Santa Barbara, Calif.; three daughters, Linda Joanne Preder of Oak Harbor, Kathryn Elaine (Frank) Bushakra of Knoxville, Tenn., and Beverly Jean (Gary) Micallef, of Ellensburg, Wash., and; six grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and two great great-grandchildren.

After cremation, burial will take place at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Oak Harbor. A memorial service is being planned for a later date.

Arrangements are entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home, Oak Harbor, Wash.



More in Obituaries

George Edward Proft: July 19, 1924 – July 10, 2019

George Edward Proft, 94.9583 years old and a resident of Western Washington,… Continue reading

Rowland Edwin Davis: June 26, 1938 – July 10 , 2019

Rowland Edwin Davis was born June 26, 1938 in Juneau, Alaska to… Continue reading

William Peter ‘Pete’ Morgan: Feb. 6, 1946 – June 26, 2019

William Peter “Pete” Morgan, age 73, died at home on June 26,… Continue reading

William Vest: Dec. 8, 1969 – June 27,2019

William Everett Vest, cherished spouse, “Faasha,” dad, son, brother, “Gruncle,” nephew, cousin,… Continue reading

Natasha Diane Reedy Divyak: June 12, 1981 – July 7, 2019

Natasha Reedy Divyak passed away at the age of 38 at Swedish… Continue reading

Russell Ernest: Sept.15, 1947 – June 27, 2019

Russell C. Ernest of Greenbank, Wash., passed away unexpectedly on June 27,… Continue reading

Tory Verdin: March 4, 1986 – July 3, 2019

Our dear, beloved Tory Verdin has passed away. Tory was first diagnosed… Continue reading

Cody Allen Fry: Died July 7, 2019

Cody Allen Fry, 33, passed away at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula,… Continue reading

Deborah Sue Voss: Aug. 1, 1951 – June 11, 2019

Deborah Sue Voss, born at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, on… Continue reading

Most Read