Mr. James Doyle Garner, age 74 of Tallapoosa, passed away Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at his residence. He was born to the late Joseph Lee Garner and the late Myrtle Alred Garner on March 3, 1948, at the Cedartown Hospital. At the time his family lived on their farm on Crossroads Church Road in Haralson County. While growing up, James worked on this farm and various other farms that his family share cropped on throughout his childhood.
James attended first grade in 1956-1957 at the Steadman School. In second grade, he transferred to Piney Woods School in Cleburne County, Alabama, which was a two-room country school. Cleburne County schools were consolidated in 1958, and James attended Fruithurst Junior High School in Cleburne County in grades four through half of the seventh grade (1958-1961). From the seventh grade through the 12th grade, he attended West Haralson High School in Haralson County, Georgia (1962 - June 1967). During this time, the Garner family share cropped on George Williams' farm on the Tallapoosa River.
After graduating high school in 1967, James attended West Georgia College for one year and then transferred to Georgia Tech where he received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in March 1973. He then went to work for Plantation Pipeline for the next 30 years. During his career, he designed and inspected many construction projects from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Washington, DC, as Plantation was converting the pipeline from a manual labor-intensive operation to a modern computer operated pipeline. During this phase of James' career, he met his future wife, Donice Ware, in Baton Rouge. After completing several years in his role as engineer and construction inspector, James finished his 30 year career serving in a number of supervisory roles, including Manager of the Western Division which included all operations in the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
James and Donice were married in St. George Catholic Church in Baton Rouge on May 12, 1979. Donice had a son, Joseph Grady Poisso, and they enjoyed many summer vacations with Joe before their daughter, Samantha Renee Garner was born in 1983. In 1979, they bought their first home in Douglasville, Georgia. In 1986, James was transferred to Baton Rouge where they bought a house and lived until 1994, before moving to Cumming, Georgia. In October 2001, James and Donice moved back to Haralson County within one mile of where his parents were living when James was born. This change of residence required James to commute from Haralson County to Alpharetta, but it allowed him to qualify in 2002 for the Georgia Senate District 31 seat which was held by Nathan Dean. Nathan Dean was victorious in this race, but James came in a very close second. In April 2004, James retired from Plantation Pipeline and again staged a run for the District 31 Senate seat. He had competition from Mason Roundtree and Bill Heath. In the July Republican primary, James came in a close third in the three-way race, and Bill Heath ousted Mason Roundtree in the runoff election. The political endeavors were a real chore for James. He always loved working outside on any project where he could see the fruits of his labor. In retirement his greatest pleasures were working in his five acre garden, tending to his sixteen bee hives, and cutting wood to heat his home.
Left to cherish his memories are his wife, Donice Garner, Tallapoosa; step-son, Joseph (Audrey) Poisso,Louisiana; daughter, Samantha Renee (Brian) Stout, Kennesaw; and grandchildren, Kyle Poisso, Herbert Poisso, and Oliver Poisso. Also surviving are his sisters: Nanie Mae Dodson, Betty Rochester, and Frances Clark, and his brother David (Sarah) Garner.
Graveside memorial services for Mr. James Garner will be conducted Saturday, April 30, 2022, at 11:00 A.M. (Georgia Time) from Mars Hill Cemetery in Cleburne County, Alabama, with the Rev. Mason Bush officiating.
Hutcheson's Memorial Chapel & Crematory of Buchanan is honored to serve the Garner family.