Montezuma Historical SocietyMontezuma Historical Society

Montezuma VFW Post Founder Honored on Memorial Day

The Montezuma Post 8137 and Montezuma Historical Society have joined to offer a special Memorial Day Service on Monday, May 26th at 2 PM, that will include a Memorial Day remembrance and will honor the founder of VFW Post 8137. Friends, family, and the community are invited to give special tribute to Warren E. Garner who passed away in Florida at the age of 92 on January 16, 2014.  Warren was the founder of the Montezuma Thurston, Schramm, Reynolds Post 8137 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Montezuma.

He moved to Montezuma from his birthplace of Paterson, New Jersey around 1940. As a Veteran of World War II, he first entered the US Army at age 21. In 1942, he landed at Utah Beach during the D-Day invasion of Normandy as part of Operation Overload. He was involved in the Battle of the Bulge, and wounded in the leg. This was one of the costliest battles in terms of casualties for the United States whose forces fore the brunt of the attack.  It was here that he suffered the loss of his best friend. His unit was sent all over Europe during the remaining of the war enduring very tough, bitter cold conditions. He was discharged from the service in 1945, but continued to work for the Navy in Washington, DC, and later served as a guard at the Memorial Bridge in Virginia.

As a result of his traumatic war experiences he continued to suffer PTDS, and finally returned to Montezuma to work at the Seneca Depot. Learning to cope with the memories of the war were unbearable at times, but he eventually found solace in helping other veterans. In 1966, he founded the Thurston, Schramm, Reynolds Post. He also was an active member of the Montezuma Fire Department following his return to Montezuma.

He was married to Dorothy Thurston who died in 1975, and re-married MaryLou Pullen. They moved to Florida, where he continued to be dedicated to helping veterans, and started the Margate Post in Ft Lauderdale. The Garners later settled in Boca Raton where he helped start a Veterans and American Legion Post. Warren, served his country, and was loved by his family and the communities where he lived. His beloved sister was Ruth Garner Laraway who predeceased him in 2007. He is survived by wife, MaryLou of Florida, and one nephew, Edward Laraway of Aurelius.

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