HOWARD GARTON | News, Sports, Jobs

Howard Franklin Garton, son of Keiffer G. Garton and Madge (Dunn) Garton, was born December 22, 1933 at home in Wayne County, Iowa and died December 5, 2021 at the age of 87.

Howard attended elementary school at Clay Center, a one-room school near the family farm. With encouragement and tutoring from Coy (Fry) Garton, his father’s second wife, he commuted with his Aunt Mardelle (Boyd) Southard to Corydon for junior high school. Howard graduated from Humeston High School in 1952 and rode a horse, a motorbike, and then a bus to school. He ran on the track, was the captain of the football team and was also the editor of the school newspaper.

After graduation he married Janet Kyner (d. 1952-1959) and they had three children together: Frank, Hilary and Holly. Howard worked at Cedar Rapids at Century Engineering, then returned to the Humeston – Garden Grove area to farm.

In 1959, Howard decided to pursue graduate studies at Iowa State University where he obtained a BS in economics in three years. It was there in 1960, on a blind date, he met his future wife and 60-year-old partner, Ann Weber of Wapello, Iowa.

On April 21, 1962, they were married in Wapello and then moved to Vinton, Iowa, where they were joined by Howard’s three children. He began at Vinton what would be a long and successful career in agricultural and commercial banking, first with Brenton Banks in Vinton, then in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

In 1968 he moved to West Bend, Iowa. With hard work and long hours over the years, he expanded the location of the Iowa State Bank into four other towns in Northwest Iowa, renaming all five banks as West Iowa Bank. Howard would eventually run the bank for decades as chairman before retiring in 2006 at the age of 72.

While building her banking career, Howard and Ann welcomed three other daughters into their family: Heather, Heidi and Hope.

Howard had a lifelong passion for learning and traveled to over 33 countries with Ann during his lifetime. He also had an intense appreciation of music, both instrumental and vocal, but especially opera. Howard has shared his interest in music with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren by supporting their classes and attending their performances over the years.

Sharing his firm belief that God, family, education and career formed the structure of a successful life, he helped and encouraged his children and grandchildren as they pursued studies and subsequent careers in the education, health, business and other fields.

Howard and Ann have spent the past three years in Fort Dodge, Iowa at Friendship Haven, where they have enjoyed meeting new people and being closer to their family.

His parents, brother Keiffer, grandson Kelvin Garton Brown and sister-in-law Lela predeceased him in his death.

He is survived by his wife Ann of Fort Dodge; son Franklin of Humeston; daughter Hilary of Blacksburg, SC; daughter Holly of Shenandoah, Iowa; her daughter Heather and son-in-law William Kummerer of Dallas, Texas; her daughter Heidi and her son-in-law Ron Bassman of Des Moines; and daughter Hope and son-in-law Ryan Brown of Fort Dodge. He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Helen, Hanna, Alex, Henry, Charles, Wyatt, Kiele, Clarissa aka “Favorite baby”; two great-granddaughters, Cassy and Olivia; and a great-great-grandson, Amory.

Condolences can be sent to Ann Garton, 602 Kenyon Road Apt. 4313, Fort Dodge, IA 50501.

A private service attended by Howard’s family was held in Humeston at the United Christian Methodist Church and he was buried in Humeston Cemetery.


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