Charles Kent Garner passed away on February 10, 2021, in Atlanta, GA from complications of Alzheimer’s; he was 74. Born in Fort Benning, GA, on May 14, 1946, Kent was preceded in death by his parents, John Wilburn Garner and Patricia Harden Garner, and his older brother John Douglas Garner. Kent and his family spent his early years in Atlanta, Philadelphia, PA, and Des Moines IA while his father completed his advanced surgical training. In 1952 his family moved to Coos Bay, OR where his father established his surgery practice and in 1957 was one of three founders of the Bay Clinic, the first multi-specialty group practice on the Oregon coast that is still providing medical services.
Kent graduated from Marshfield Senior High in 1964. He won Marshfield’s first-ever state high school wrestling championship that year at 141 pounds. Kent was a three-year letterman, two-time district 5A-1 champion, and state high school AAU runner-up in 1964. Kent was inducted into Marshfield High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
Kent attended Princeton University on an academic scholarship and was active in wrestling, Karate Club, Orange Key, the AIAA, and was a member of Dial Lodge. The summer between junior and senior year, Kent attended the USMC Platoon Leadership Course at Quantico, VA. Kent received his BSE in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering in1968 and at that time was commissioned a second lieutenant in the USMC. Kent served 3 years on active duty in the US and Asia and remained active in the reserves until 1983 when he retired with the rank of major.
Following discharge from the Marines, Kent attended Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkley, and received his Master of Business Administration in 1973. In 1976 he earned his CPA certificate.
Kent’s 35-year business career focused on corporate finance and encompassed a wide variety of domestic and international industries including banking, mining, retail, outsourcing, refrigeration, and educational publishing; first at Continental Bank, followed by senior executive roles at Vulcan Materials, Dollar General, Norrell Staffing, National Refrigeration Company and as a partner with the Interlochen Group
Kent was active in professional and civic organizations. He was a past Director of the National Association of Corporate Treasures, served on the Conference Board’s CFO Council, and was past president of the Financial Executive International’s Birmingham, AL, Chapter.
Kent was involved with the Boy Scouts of America while growing up, earning his Eagle Scout badge. He was an assistant Scoutmaster in his son’s troops, served on the Atlanta Area Council’s Executive Board for ten years, and then on its Advisory Board. Kent conducted fly fishing merit badge clinics through his Trout Unlimited Chapter for local area troops as well as at Woodruff Scout Camp in Blairsville, GA. With his love of scuba diving, after retirement Kent was a volunteer diver for eight years at the Georgia Aquarium cleaning tanks, feeding fish, and servicing the dive equipment. Kent was also involved in the Marine Corp Toys for Tots program.
In addition to scuba diving and fly fishing Kent’s interests and activities focused on personal fitness, running, swimming, biking, competing in biathlons and triathlons, military history, and travel. Kent and his wife, Linda, enjoyed traveling the world, croquet, hiking, boating, fishing, spending summers at their home in Lake Toxaway, NC, and time with their growing family and many friends.
Kent is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 51 years, Linda Rea Garner; his son, Bennett Kent Garner and wife Cinnamon; his daughter Alison Rea Worthington and her husband Chris; grandchildren, Colin Kent Alan Garner, Gillian Rose Garner, Maxwell Jay Worthington and Luca Ray Worthington; brother, Stephen Bennett Garner and sister Lois Lee Garner.
A service is planned at Arlington National Cemetery to honor his life and intern his ashes in a columbarium when scheduled by the cemetery. Condolences can be left for the family at www.GeorgiaFuneralCare.com