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J. Thomas McNamara

     “I still find myself in the fog of disbelief that Todd is actually gone,” fellow Mount Zion school board member emotionally said about the Oct. 30 passing in Decatur Memorial Hospital of Todd Garner, who was president of the Mount Zion school board of which he was a member since 2013.
     “As I served with him on the school board, I was often impressed with his wisdom of balancing academics and athletics. He was a high school athlete and cared very much about the success for MT. Zion,” reminisced Sams about his good friend and fellow board member. “He was very much involved with the Junior Football League which of course is a feeder for the high school program.
“While serving with him as a fellow board member he showed great support and insight to helping coaches to do their job without distractions from the board,” recalled Sams. “Todd was very effective by leading by example. When he discussed a subject it was with control, but conviction and compassion to whom or what he was discussing.”
     And Sams cited this character strength of Todd. “I personally coached Nick his son and as a coach I always challenge the athletes. “Todd always gave me full support and I always appreciated his trust in me as a Coach. ”
     “Bottom line we lost a true prince of a man that is a role model to anyone that wants to be a caring loving husband, great Dad, successful business leader, and he invested unselfish service to his community is why Todd Garner will be greatly missed but never forgotten,” concluded Sams about what Todd brought to Mount Zion in more ways than one.
     Mike Mose, who has served the district in a number of capacities, including as athletics director, offered his thoughts, “In my 11 years as the Athletic Director at Mt. Zion High School Todd Garner supported all athletic teams equally. Todd was a Braves fan through and through. Todd always asked how things were going and if we needed anything? Todd was a guy who you could voice your concerns to knowing that he was truly interested in what you had to say.
     “Todd always had a feel for the community and supported our coaches in their daily efforts. Mt. Zion will miss seeing Todd at all of our events. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Garner family during this difficult time,” concluded Mose.
     Former Braves athlete himself, Darcy Grinestaff responded to my request with these words of compassion of his former board member and friend, “Todd Garner was a person everyone should aspire to be. He was a good friend and will truly be missed. We served together four years or so (on the board). He truly was a great person,” reflected Grinestaff.
     Todd was vice president for Peerless Inc. for 21 years. He was a very successful businessman and was always involved with sons Jake and Nick’s education and knew how the educational system affects the success of the entire community. He wanted to continue to be a part in guiding youth in academics and extra-curricular activities. It was very important to him.
     I will have more on this heart-wrenching and gut-wrenching story of Todd Garner’s passing in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

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