Dayton soldier laid to rest

The family of Army Specialist Levi Garner takes turns touching a dove that was released into the air to symbolize the Garner's spirit at his funeral service on Friday. Garner was tragically killed May 18 in a car crash near his Army base in Fort Stewart, Ga.

The family and friends of Army Specialist Levi Garner gathered Friday to mourn and say their goodbyes. Garner, a native of Dayton, Texas, was killed May 18 in a car crash near his Army base in Fort Stewart, Ga.

While he did not die on the battlefield, he was still far from home and serving his country when his life was cut short at the age of 25.

The funeral was held at First Baptist Church of Dayton with Rev. Howie Howeth officiating. Pace-Stancil Funeral Home of Dayton handled all the arrangements.

Army Specialist Gerald Levi Garner

Following the funeral, he was transported to Magnolia Park Cemetery in Dayton for interment. Patriot Guard members from the Greater Houston area posted American flags outside the church and greeted the funeral procession as it arrived at the cemetery.

At the end of the ceremony, a dove release arranged by Dream Doves was held to symbolize Garner’s spirit returning to Heaven.

Garner was a member of the Dayton High School Class of 2013 and had participated in Dayton Youth Sports Association sports. He joined the Army in 2018 and was proud to serve his country.

Levi was preceded in death by his father, Gerald Lynn Garner, his stepfather, Jay Banning, and his grandparents, Gerald and Eliska Wenzel, and Tommy Garner.  He is survived by his mother, Dianne Garner; his grandmother, Acele  Garner; his son, Gerald Jace Garner; his siblings, Jacob Garner, Adam Garner, and Eliska Garner and Adam Goodwine; nephews, Zane Daniel Garner, Gabriel James Goodwine, and Dilynn Michael Goodwine; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives and friends.

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