November 16, 1916 ~ May 13, 2019

Born in: McDowell County, NC
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Mrs. Pauline Elizabeth Gosorn Garner passed peacefully on May 13, 2019, at the Age of 102 and 6 months, following a short health decline. She was a resident at Brookdale Asheville Overlook, Arden, North Carolina, since returning to her beloved mountains in 2016 . She previously lived at Parkwood Independent Living in Elkin, North Carolina, for 10 years. Mrs. Garner was born on November 16, 1916, to Estelle Epley and Don Howard Gosorn.

Mrs. Garner was born in the Old Fort area of McDowell County, North Carolina, just after President Woodrow Wilson was reelected to a second term. His campaign stressed his leadership in declaring neutrality in the first stages of World War 1. Pauline was the first of four children. Her parents were Postmaster and Postmistress at Old Fort where she, her sister, and her brothers attended school. Following high school, she graduated from Averitt College, in Danville, Virginia, with a degree in Art and Business Administration and began work in Asheville. It was there that she met and married her true love, Andrew Jackson (Jack) Garner, III, in a beautiful service at The Cathedral of All Souls Church at Biltmore. Their marriage spanned 37 years of love and devotion to each other!

Mrs. Garner began a long vocation in banking at Riggs Bank, Washington, D.C., while Jack was stationed there in the Navel Postal Service during World War II. On returning to Asheville, she worked for different banks through her career, retiring as an Account Manager with over 15 years service at First Union. Her husband Jack was Postmaster at the main Asheville branch and chaired many clubs and organizations in which she participated. They loved to travel and were excited to fix up a property at Lake Lure. After his early death, she continued to travel, including a trip to visit her sister in Kenya Africa. She played bridge in several clubs, enjoyed other card games, read extensively, did beautiful needlepoint, and was an accomplished artist in water colors. She enjoyed listening to Frank Sinatra and Benny Goodman! Polly was a fighter who dealt with two colon cancer surgeries and their impact for over 30 years. She became an advocate for colon cancer survivors. A hip replacement at age 100 didn’t stop her from enjoying life and her family, and she attributed her continued mobility to the wonderful therapy program at Brookdale. Polly was a loving wife, devoted Mother to her sons Andy and Phil, and brought much joy to the lives of her four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. She was Nan to all who knew and loved her!

In addition to her parents, Mrs. Garner was preceded in death by her loving husband Andrew Jackson Garner, III (Jack). She was preceded in death by one sister, Norma Gosorn Smith of Kenya, Africa, and by two brothers: Glenn A. Gosorn and wife Ailene of Old Fort and by Howard G. Gosorn and wife Katherine of Old Fort.

Mrs. Garner is survived by her son Andrew Jackson Garner, IV, and his wife Ann Hollar Garner of State Road; by her son Philip Gosorn Garner and his husband Michael E. Kappler of Saint Petersburg, Florida; by one brother-in-law, Pat Smith of Kenya, Africa; and by many loving nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Garner is survived by 4 Grandchildren: Katharine Oliver Edlin and husband Landon of Fort Myers, Florida; Evan Philip Garner of Asheville; John Andrew Garner and wife Anna of Charlotte; and Elise Garner Meadows and husband Matt of Lincolnton.

Mrs. Garner is survived by 3 Great Grandchildren: Spaight Oliver, Ellis Oliver, and Morgan Edlin of Fort Myers, Florida.

A Celebration Of Life Service will be conducted at Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian, 72 Long Shoals Road, Arden, NC, on June 22, 2019, at 2 pm. The Reverend Michael Shuford and The Reverend Ron Jones will officiate. The family will receive guests immediately following the service. Interment will follow for Mrs. Garner beside her husband, Jack, at the Calvary Episcopal Churchyard, Fletcher, NC.

The family wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks to Doctor Jessica Schwartz and Doctors Making House Calls and to Dr. William Hathaway at Asheville Cardiology. Our most special thanks are extended to the Head Administrator Roberta Lloyd and the wonderful nurses, therapy department, and all staff at Brookdale Asheville Overlook. You were all wonderful, loving care givers to Polly and supported her faithfully for her last two and one half years of life and at her death. We also extend our thanks to all the staff at Four Seasons Hospice on whom we depended during her last weeks before her passing. You were ALL true Care Angels! God Bless You All!

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to United Ostomy Associations of America, P.O. Box 525, Kennebunk, ME 04043-0525. Mrs. Garner supported advocacy on behalf of all people living with an ostomy and spoke as a personal “ Patient Advocate” following her two bouts with cancer.


Celebration of Life: June 22, 2019 2:00 pm

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


Room: Chapel

Visitation: June 22, 2019 3:00 pm

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


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  1. Joan and William Sanders send condolences from Elkin. Polly was a beloved resident of Parkwood Independent Living here and made friends there who still miss her since she moved to Asheville. Thinking of Andy and Ann and join them in celebrating a beautiful life.

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