Ernest Levi “Lee” Garner, Jr.
Ernest Levi “Lee” Garner Jr., 75, passed away in Batesville, Miss., on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Born
on Nov. 26, 1944, he was the son of Helen Ferrell and E. L. Garner, Sr.
His family received friends at Wells Funeral Home in Batesville on Thursday, Feb. 13, from 5 p.m.
until 8 p.m. A celebration of Lee’s life will be held Friday, Feb. 14, at 11 a.m., at First United
Methodist Church in Batesville, and interment will follow at Magnolia Cemetery in Batesville.
Lee grew up in Batesville and graduated from Batesville High School in 1962, serving as president of his class and winning many awards as an outstanding football player. He was selected for All District and All-American teams, and was awarded a scholarship to play at the University of Mississippi from 1963 – 1966. He lettered in 1964-1966 under legendary Coach John Vaught and was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1966. Lee became a building contractor, building homes from 1969 to 1975, after which he was in the cardboard container business and purchased E.L. Garner Oil from his father at his father’s retirement. In addition, he opened numerous Super Saver Convenience Stores which became the fastest growing chain in the United States. For the remainder of his career, he was in the healthcare business and owned Arena One, a well-known and well-respected ranch and venue for cutting horse events. Cutting horse enthusiasts traveled across America to enter competitions at Arena One. Lee also owned and bred cutting horses, and successfully showed in many events. Between 1990 and 2014, he won or placed in the National Cutting Horse Association World standings 23 times. In 1990, he showed Baldy Freckles and won the NCHA Non-Pro World Championship, and in 1996 showed his NCHA Non-Pro Futurity Champion, Peponitas Acre. He also encouraged young riders to train and show, including his son, Lee III, and his grandsons, Levi and Miles.
Lee was predeceased by his parents and one son, deYampert Brame“Dee”Garner who passed away in 2016. Lee loved his family deeply and will be missed by his son, Ernest Levi “Lee” Garner (Beth), of Batesville; one brother, David Garner (Cathy), of Batesville: two sisters, Kay Hasseltine, of Keller,
Texas, and Joan Mills, of Brandon, Miss. He especially loved his grandchildren, Levi Garner and
Miles Garner, of Batesville, and Sloan Garner and Brame Garner, also of Batesville. He leaves several nieces and nephews and a host of friends to remember his “larger than life” personality.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Panola County Humane Society, or a charity of your choice.