Millard “M.M.” Garland

Published 2:41 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2022

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Millard “M.M.” Garland, age 81, of Carter County, transitioned peacefully on Sunday, July 24, due to complications of cancer.  He was fortunate to spend his final days in his home, surrounded by his family.
Millard is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Judy Ann Garland, and his children Audrey Kelaher Briggs, Marvin Garland and his wife Angie, and Amy Garland; his grandchildren, Joshua, Alexandra, and Samuel Kelaher, Savannah and Sawyer Garland, and Dillon Andes; and two great-granddaughters, Aisley Kelaher and Harper Andes.  Each of these lives was greatly enriched by his abiding love, unfailing support, and his ever-gentle strength.
Millard is also survived by his beloved brother, Jess (Marsha) – with whom he loved attending Friday night football games, his dear sister Georgia Lyon and brother-in-law Dana Lyon, his beloved sister Margie Leonard, as well as many special nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by brothers Jack, Phil, and Ted Garland, as well as sister Marie Garland. The iconic “Garland Family” is known widely for their athletic prowess, tireless work ethic, and fierce love of family.
Millard was born in Fork Mountain, NC on November 12, 1940 and moved to Carter County at the age of seven.  His late parents – Arnold and Vista Garland – instilled in their eight children the traits of grit and humor, a characteristic legacy that thrives in their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
At Happy Valley High School, Millard was known as a tough opponent on the football field, a lover of fast cars, and a friend to all.   While in high school, he met Judy Ann Patterson, who – at first sight – became the love of his life.  Together, they created a life filled with devotion to each other and their three children, who each enjoyed a magical childhood.
Always intent on providing for his family, Millard frequently held multiple jobs, including working for Raytheon Technologies during the Vietnam War, a contribution to defense so valued by his country, he was awarded a deferment from the war.  In 1965, he was employed by Clinchfield (eventually CSX) Railroad, where he made lifelong friends, and enjoyed a 37-year career. After retirement in 2002, he and Judy lived “their best life” for more than 20 years, delighting in their home and six grandchildren.
During retirement, Millard devoted extensive time and resources to his community and those less fortunate.  He was an active volunteer with the Carter County Democratic Party, passionately advocating for social issues.  He was especially proud of his 18-year service on the Carter County Election Commission, his service with the Shriners, and his 47-year membership as a Mason with Watauga Lodge #622.
Millard will be remembered by all for his keen wit, his innate wisdom, his gentle spirit, and his extraordinary strength of mind and body.  His legacy of a “life well lived” will continue to inspire family and friends to be kind, always.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, July 30, from 11 am – 1 pm at Hathaway-Percy Funeral Home in Elizabethton, followed by a graveside service at 2 pm at Roselawn Cemetery in Johnson City.  Pallbearers are Jess Garland, Marvin Garland, Joshua Kelaher, Samuel Kelaher, Dillon Andes, and Sawyer Garland.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Shriners Hospital for Children, or to the Carter County Democratic Party – Millard M. Garland Fund, established to honor Millard for his leadership, servitude, and community service, and to support causes that promote access to health care for local Tennesseans.
The family wishes to thank the nurses and staff of Avalon Hospice for their care and compassion.
Online condolences may be shared with the family and viewed on our website at Hathaway-Percy Funeral and Cremation Services are honored to serve the Garland family. Office: 423-543-5544.

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