Levi Garner, a 25-year-old soldier from Dayton, Texas, was killed May 18 by an alleged drunk driver near his Army base in Fort Stewart, Ga. The drunk driver also perished in the crash but Garner’s passenger survived.
A 2013 graduate of Dayton High School, Garner joined the U.S. Army two years later. He was proud to serve his country and being a part of the Army infantry, said his sister, Eliska Garner.
The Garner family – mom, Dianne, sister, Eliska, and brothers, Jacob and Adam, and Levi’s 6-year-old son, Jace – learned of his tragic loss when they were notified by Texas state troopers last Monday night. Dianne said that as word began to spread among Levi’s friends, they soon began showing up at her home in Dayton.
“As soon as word got out on social media, our yard was covered with kids. All of his friends from high school and their parents were here. The community knows what a loss this was. If anyone ever met or knew him, they would say how he touched their lives,” Dianne said.
His mom and sister say Levi used his smile and charm to win people over. He never met a stranger and made everyone feel loved.
“If you knew him, you would smile when you talked about him,” Eliska said. “He was the light of the family. We were all so proud of him. He was everybody’s baby in the family. He was everyone’s favorite, too.”
As an Army specialist, Levi completed one nine-month deployment to South Korea. His funeral will be held on Friday, at 10 a.m., at First Baptist Church in Dayton. Interment will follow at Magnolia Cemetery in Dayton.