Willard Raymond Garren, 90, was welcomed into heaven by his Savior on May 26, 2021. There to welcome him were his son, Anthony Crayton Garren, his parents Raymond Anderson Garren and Dessie Barnwell Garren, and his brother James Donald Garren, Sr.
Willard was born in Henderson County, Hendersonville, NC on August 22, 1930. He always had a special place in his heart for the mountains of North Carolina. He graduated from Edneyville High School in 1950. He participated in many sports during school but his first passion was playing baseball as the catcher for the team. He attended Ebenezer Baptist Church along with his girlfriend and later wife, Armelia Vaughn. Willard had a love of music and enjoyed singing bass solos in his church. He sang in two quartets, the church choir, and was President of the Henderson County Singing Convention for several years.
Willard entered the Army at Fort Jackson, SC where he sang in the Regimental Army Choir. He left for Korea on January 7, 1952. In Osaka, Japan he was selected to attend school to become a “Medic”. He was sent to Korea near the front line to M.A.S.H. 8055 field hospital where he directed the helicopters transporting wounded soldiers, held sick calls, helped with surgeries, and prepared deceased soldiers for transport back to their families. Willard always valued his service to his country as a special time in his life. He was proud to be an American.
Willard continued his service to his fellow man on returning to civilian life. He continued his education, becoming registered as a medical technologist. He was hired at Lee County Hospital in Sanford as the laboratory manager where he worked for 26 years. Fifteen years later, he retired from Pinehurst Medical/First Health Hospital in Pinehurst, NC as the second shift supervisor.
He was a man who always found great joy in giving a helping hand to others when needed. His participation in service organizations included: President of Highway to Healing, driver and driver coordinator for the American Red Cross, Chairman of Nursing Home Advisory Board, Boy Scout Leader- Troop 421, Breadbasket, Christian United Outreach Center, Salvation Army, Sanford Lion’s Club, Jonesboro Heights Baptist Church as Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, Outreach Leader, Baptist Men President, as well as continued service on many other committees.
Willard was a man raised in the mountains on a farm who loved planting, growing and being close to Mother Nature. His skill and love of gardening was evident in the hundreds of azaleas and flowers in his yard as well as the supply of vegetables from his garden that he loved to share with others. His love of nature also led him to fishing, camping, and many travel adventures.
Willard is survived by the love of his life, Armelia of 69+ years, his son Dr. Willard S. Garren and Kathy of Chocowinity, a daughter Teresa G. Bright and Anthony of Sanford, a daughter-in-law Teddi K. Garren of Aberdeen, Grandchildren: Crystal G. Vandiver of Greensboro, Christopher Garren and Nikki of Greensboro, Walter Bright II and Mary of Raleigh, Nathan Vaughn Bright and Jessie of Vander and Willard Daniel Garren of Charleston, SC , Great grandchildren: James and Rose Vandiver, and Michael and Tucker Bright.
Graveside service will be held at Buffalo Cemetery on June 12, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. attended by Military Honor Guard.
A special thank you to all the medical staff and care providers that rendered love and service to our dear Willard.
In lieu of flowers please donate to your choice of service organization.