Howard Franklin Garton, son of Keiffer G. Garton and Madge (Dunn) Garton, was born December 22, 1933 at home in Wayne County, Iowa and passed away December 5, 2021 at the age of 87 years.
Howard attended primary school at Clay Center, a one-room schoolhouse near the family farm. With encouragement and tuition support from Coy (Fry) Garton, his father’s second wife, he commuted with his Aunt Mardelle (Boyd) Southard to Corydon for junior high. Howard graduated in 1952 from Humeston High School, and rode a horse, motor bicycle, then the bus to school. He ran track, was captain of the football team and was also the school newspaper editor.
After graduation he wed Janet Kyner (m. 1952-1959) and they had three children together: Frank, Hilary, and Holly. Howard worked in Cedar Rapids at Century Engineering, then returned to the Humeston – Garden Grove area to farm.
In 1959 Howard decided to pursue a higher education at Iowa State University where he graduated in three years with a B.S. in Economics. It was there in 1960, when on a blind date, he met his future wife and partner of 60 years, Ann Weber from Wapello, Iowa.
On April 21, 1962 they were married in Wapello then moved to Vinton, Iowa where they were joined by Howard’s three children. He began in Vinton what would be a long and successful career in agricultural and business banking, first with Brenton Banks in Vinton, then in Emmetsburg, Iowa.
In 1968 he moved on to West Bend, Iowa. With hard work and long hours over the years, he grew the Iowa State Bank location into four more northwest Iowa towns, renaming the five banks as West Iowa Bank. Howard would ultimately lead the bank for decades as President before retiring in 2006 at the age of 72.
While building his banking career Howard and Ann welcomed three more daughters to their family: Heather, Heidi, and Hope.
Howard had a lifelong passion for learning and traveled to more than 33 countries with Ann during his life. He also had an intense appreciation of music, both instrumental and vocal, but especially opera. Howard shared his interest in music with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren supporting their lessons and attending their performances over the years.
Sharing his strong belief that God, Family, Education, and Career formed the structure for a successful life, he assisted and encouraged his children and grandchildren as they pursued studies and subsequent careers in education, healthcare, business, and other fields.
Howard and Ann spent the past three years in Fort Dodge, Iowa at Friendship Haven where they enjoyed meeting new people and being nearer to family.
Preceding him in death were his parents, brother Keiffer, grandson Kelvin Garton Brown, and sister-in-law Lela.
He is survived by his wife Ann of Fort Dodge; son Franklin of Humeston; daughter Hilary of Blacksburg, SC; daughter Holly of Shenandoah, Iowa; daughter Heather and son-in-law William Kummerer of Dallas, Texas; daughter Heidi and 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 a.k.a. “Favorite Baby”; two great-granddaughters, Cassy and Olivia; and one great-great grandson, Amory.
Condolences may 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 Christian United Methodist Church and he was interred at the Humeston Cemetery.