Gary Hayes Garner

gary garner

July 31, 1943 ~ June 19, 2024

Born in: Asheville, North Carolina
Resided in: Arden, North Carolina

Gary Hayes Garner of Arden passed away on June 19, 2024 after a long battle with cancer.

He was the son of Oliver L. “Pete” and Ruth H. Garner. Born in Asheville in 1943, Gary lived in the area his entire life with the exception of 1966-1971 when he proudly served his country in the United States Naval Aviation, training both Navy and Marine pilots during Vietnam. His love of flying carried over in later years and he joined the local chapter 1016 of Experimental Aircraft Association where he enjoyed many hours of fellowship and flying.

Gary is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Jan, and three wonderful children – Chris (his wife Angie) of Fletcher, Elizabeth (her husband Chris) of Las Vegas, NV and Lovell (his wife Katie) of Horse Shoe, NC. He is also survived by the seven loves of his life – his beautiful and talented Grandchildren – Westin, Abbie, Isabella, Emma, Ava, Koltin and Brynnleigh; his brothers, Dick (his wife Peggy) of Myrtle Beach, SC and Bob (his wife Nel) of Ipswich, MA and several nieces and nephews.

Gary originally worked for his Grandfather and Father in the automotive parts business. Hayes & Hopson was a mainstay in Asheville for many years. In 1972, he made the leap into his own electronics business and Garner’s Stereo Center was born. He served the people of WNC for 47 years with the very best in car audio and related equipment, retiring in 2008 and turning it over to his sons. His wife, Jan, worked alongside of him for over 25 years.

Gary would like to thank the many doctors, nurses and healthcare personnel who made the last years of his life tolerable and extended. Special thanks to Dr. Barry Pate, Dr. Charles Sims, Dr. Eric Kuehn, Dr. Sesalie Smathers, Dr. Sean Warsh, Dr. Joshua Waltonen and Dr. Hafiz Patwa.

A Celebration of Gary’s Life will be held starting at 4:00 PM on Friday, July 12 in the Chapel of Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian and his family will greet friends at the funeral home following the service until 6:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Chimney Rock Baptist Church, 270 Boys Camp Road, Lake Lure, NC 28746, The Jimmy V Cancer Foundation, The Asheville Humane Society, The Salvation Army or to a charity of one’s own choice.


Celebration of Life: July 12, 2024 4:00 pm

Room: Chapel

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


Visitation: July 12, 2024 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


Navy Veteran

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Memories Timeline


  1. A wonderful fellow and one of the pillars of our Experimental Aircraft Association chapter. Gary was admired by everyone, especially for the grace and dignity with which he faced his greatest challenge.

  2. Gary will be missed..the smile though will be remembered as he alway had one! What a great man,father and husband…Not to mention customer,friend and businessman. I think he had it all and his legacy is strong as i have known Chris and Lovell…and of course his wonderful wife and Partner Jan! Blessed is your soul Gary and may you eternally rest in peace as you so fully deserve!!❤️🙏

  3. All my prayers and sympathy for the entire family. Mr. Garner was such a fine man, father, husband and friend. 💕

  4. Gary was a great individual. I have fond memories of him coaching our high school South Buncombe Basketball games. He was definitely an important part of the reason I cracked the high school team at Roberson High School. And started. Thank you Gary for being on the starting line of that wonderful ride with me.

  5. Jan and family, I am so sorry! He was a special person and a special friend! I know he has suffered long and bravely. Jan I am so glad I got to meet a few years ago and that I got to see him! I am praying for you and all your family! I have so many wonderful memories! Old boyfriends are very special! If I had your number I would call you right now.

  6. Uncle Gary was always kind to me and I have always admired and looked up to him. He was handy and talented in so many ways he was a true track of all trades. He was and will always be my favorite uncle. I love you uncle Gary. You truly were an inspiration to me and many others. May your spirit be free with God and you be in peace.

  7. To the Family of Gary,
    Gary will be missed by many.
    I worked in the office of Hayes & Hopson about the time Gary was starting his business.
    We have enjoyed many times on Facebook concerning the Lake and improvements.
    He loved his Family very much.
    Blessing to you, God will be with you during this trying time.
    Barbara Monteath Buchanan

  8. Gary was a wonderful man. I had the privilege of knowing him from a young age and my heart is heavy with his passing. Jan, Chris, Elizabeth, Lovell and family are in my prayers. May the Lord give you solace in this time of immense loss. ❤️

  9. Jan and family,
    Our deepest condolences. Gary always was kind, funny and a great neighbor. Remembering him fondly.
    Kim and Joel

  10. Gary was a dear friend of mine and we spent much time together in our high school years I will miss my lil’ buddy.. Jan and family you guys are in my thoughts and prayers.

  11. The Senior Putnam’s and Garner’s had a long history of friendship and respect. Sadly another chapter has closed. We, however, celebrate a life well lived.

  12. I am so saddened to learn of Gary’s death, for an Asheville fixture is no longer with…..Although, I never knew Gary personally I do have connections with the Garner Family and I wrote an entry or two on Gary’6 Caring Bridge page after it was first started…. My connections with the Garner Family are through the Asheville School where my dad Paul H Bates taught French, was the school organist, and coached tennis; also my mother Mary J. Bates held the title of Director of Alumni and Parent Affairs…. I believe that my dad taught both Gary and Dick at the Asheville School….
    Also, I corresponded with Bob during his Hollywood years‼️
    Anyway, please accept my condolences at this difficult time in the Garner Family and know I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers during the days, weeks and months ahead….

  13. Sincere condolences to you Jan, Chris, Elizabeth, Lovell, and the entire Garner family. I too loved your loved one! Gary meant a lot to my life, he was a dear friend and will always have a special place in my heart. May The Lord comfort and sustain you now and always. ❤️

  14. Sorry to hear of Gary passing. My family and I send hugs and prayers to all. May God bless Gary and the family.

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