John D Garber, beloved father, brother, and uncle, passed away on August 24, 2021 in Spokane, Washington. He was a world traveler, avid skier, hopeful fisherman, competent sailor, accomplished aviator, car connoisseur, and the corniest joke teller around. He loved anything with wheels or wings! Anyone who ever had the privilege of meeting John will miss his dry sense of humor, quick wit, wry smile, and heartwarming laugh.
John was born in Spokane to Carl Garber and Bernice (Weyen) Garber on October 12, 1945. While his roots were in Reardan, Washington, John’s family moved about while he was growing up. John graduated from Renton High School, Class of 1963. He graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham, although his college years were interrupted by his military service in the United States Marine Corps, serving his country in Vietnam from April 1966 to April 1967. After this tour, he re-enlisted for another two years and was stationed in London, England. It was during his tour in England that he met his first wife, Lynne Cuthbert. Upon his return to the United States, he completed his college education at Western Washington University, graduating with a degree in Business Administration. In November of 1971, they welcomed their son, Paul David Garber.
John worked his entire career in the aviation insurance industry at several agencies in Seattle, Washington. He was an adventurous soul who loved to travel, taking advantage of any opportunity to ski, take a fishing trip, or fly an airplane, while he raised Paul as a single father. In 1990, he married his second wife, Cynthia Davis, to whom he was married for 24 years. During this time, they lived on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle and enjoyed a second home on Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands. In 2011, John moved to Spokane County to enjoy his retirement years near Reardan, where he returned to his roots as a gentleman wheat farmer. In Spokane, John spent much of his retirement riding motorcycles and participating as a member of the Vipers Car Club. John enjoyed buying, selling, restoring, and driving hot rods and antique cars. His favorite project was his 1957 “Black Widow” Tribute Chevy, which was in the final stages of restoration at the time of his passing.
John was a loving father to Paul. He was a devoted brother to his sisters, Jean and Molly and was a favorite uncle to his 6 nieces and nephews and 14 great nieces and nephews. Throughout his life, John made long lasting friendships with so many special people who were touched by his loyalty, generosity, humor, and zest for life. Always a proud Marine, he embodied the motto “Semper Fi”.
John is preceded in death by his parents, Carl (2009) and Bernice (2010). He is survived by his son, Paul (Clair) of Seattle; sisters Jean (Tom) Leonard of Spokane and Molly Merrill of Bothell.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favorite charity in John’s name or to John’s beloved charity, Honor Flight of Spokane (https://inhonorflight.org/donate/). Please check back for updated service information.
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