Rex D. Garner was born December 24, 1926 at the Gardner Homestead 9 miles North of Witten, SD. He was the only child born to Ralph and Leta (Boyd) Gardner.
Rex grew up in Greenwood Township in northern Tripp County. He attended South Greenwood Country School and graduated from Winner High School in 1944 at the age of 17.
When Rex turned 18 he enlisted in the Army in 1945 and was stationed in Berlin, Germany where he was assigned to guard German soldiers. While there he played saxophone in a 15 piece band. Rex was honorably discharged in November 1946.
After being discharged from the Army Rex played music with the Buddy Baer Band, traveling from state to state from 1946 to 1952. While playing music in the Winner area, he met Fairy (Cookie) Cook. After dating for only 3 months they were united in marriage on April 18, 1952, and made their home on the farm north of Witten and later moved to Witten. To this union 5 children were born: Scott, twins Bobby and Billy, Sherry, and Barry.
Rex farmed from 1952 to 1985 until he became employed by the Tripp County Water Users District in 1986. He retired in 2003. Retirement wasn’t for Rex and he returned to the workforce until 2011 where he was employed by the Green Thumb Program with the Witten School, the Grossenburg Memorial Library, and Kucera Electric. Rex continued to play music with local bands such as Wickham Brothers and Vic’s Combo.
Rex will be remembered for music, patriotism, baseball, pheasant hunting, the outdoors, and the love of his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was an avid reader, loving to read and re-read the Louie L’Amour Collection books. He was an avid sports fan that never missed his children’s sporting events. Rex never met a stranger and could talk with anyone. He will be truly missed.