Obituary of Robert W. Garton
Robert W. Garton took his last breath, entering the arms of Jesus on Monday November 27, 2023 with family by his side. He was born on July 6, 1931 to Orville W. and Bernice H. Garton in Billings, Montana. How does one consolidate 92 years into a few simple paragraphs?
Bob lived a long, extraordinary life; large and full of his love for God, family, cats, motorcycles, cars, guns, cats, airplanes, and did I mention cats? However, not always in that order.
Bob grew up in Billings, Montana attending Billings Senior High, graduating in 1950. In the early 50’s he and his buddies started the first stockcar races in Billings. This launched his life long love for NASCAR. If it was not stockcars, it was motorcycles or flying lessons.
Bob met the love of his life; Pam Paronto in 1951. Their marriage in Red Lodge Montana was the beginning of raising a family and traveling for work. With his commitment to family, he gave up racing stockcars and flying airplanes in 1953, when their first daughter Bobbi Jo was born in Missoula, MT. In 1954 Bob and Pam moved to Idaho following his work. By 1955 they welcomed their second daughter Jacqueline Lynn, born in Boise, ID. He took on a career of heavy highway construction, participating in the building of the interstate system in Idaho, as well as many highways throughout the state, with companies such as Peter Kiewit and Sons, Morrison-Knutson and Western Construction. Many of his co-workers became life long friends.
In 1957, Bob and Pam welcomed their third daughter, Michelle Ann, born in Ashton, ID. His growing family and the need to settle down in one spot brought them to Boise, where their one and only son, Timothy Dean, was born in 1960. Now as a family of six, Bob would work heavy highway construction during the spring through fall road construction seasons, and then on to long-haul truck driving in the winters; delivering produce from Arizona and California for Willis-Shaw or other heavy equipment for Eisenman. Many wonderful memories of diesel semi-trucks warming up in the early winter mornings hours, knowing there would be fresh oranges and apples as true fruits of his labor, when he returned home. He even brought home a lemon and lime tree which he raised in the house for many years, bearing fresh citrus fruit. Bob was a sometimes gruff, but an extremely hard-working man, teaching by example the meaning of honesty, integrity and commitment. He could surprise people with his kindness. Whether donating a woodburning stove to St Joseph Indian School, supporting the World War II Foundation or the Wounded Warrior Project. He always found a way to give back. He was always there to help others when needed, from cutting firewood or fixing cars.
Bob was never without a motorcycle. He had a few difference types of cycles; his love was Harleys. From Sportsters to full-dressed Cruisers, they were his passion. No one EVER touched his motorcycles. However, he would take Pam or one of his kids for rides on a Sunday afternoon with the reward of a stop at A&W for a Root Beer before returning home. His last Harley was equipped with a side car, for Pam.
When Bob lost his wife Pam to cancer in 1993, he was never the same. While he had many dear friends along the way, he always missed her. Unfortunately, his later years were filled with heartache and loss of purpose. He still tried by mowing the 5 acres of lawn at Timber Tabernacle in Smiths Ferry Idaho for over 20 years. When he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, he continued doing yardwork, planting grass and trees, even helping neighbors when he could. He was so proud of his lawn in Oregon that finally took off just this past summer.
Robert W. Garton was preceded in death by his dad and mom: Orville W. and Bernice H. Garton; beloved wife, Pam Garton (Sept. 1993); and son, Timothy D. Garton (April 2023). As well as six cats and three dogs.
He is survived by his three daughters: Bobbi Jo (Rick) Navarro of Boise, ID., Jacqueline Lynn Atkins of Adrian, OR., Michelle Ann (Brent) Stansell of Boise, ID.; 6 grandchildren: Jennifer J. (Kelly) Walhder, Courtney R. Knutson, Derik W. (Anika) Standley, Tyler D. (Christy) Stansell, Randi (Josh) Moore, and Seth M. Stansell; along with 9 great-grandchildren; brother, Garry Garton; several nieces and nephews; many friends; and two cats.
Dad/Popa you will be missed more than you could imagine, we take comfort in knowing you are at peace, pain-free and re-united with Mom and Tim. As you rejoice with Jesus, we will find peace, as well.
We thank the gifted staff at St Alphonsus Heart Center, for all their care and compassion, and Accent Funeral and Crematory for their support (www.AccentFuneral.com). His memorial with be held this coming Spring in Montana.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Garton, please visit Tribute Store