Tuesday, January 24, 2023



A few days ago we had a small family graveside burial service for Mom on the beautiful & sacred grounds of The Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida which is designated for Military Veterans and their Spouses. Mom served our country as the spouse of a serviceman for 15 of Dad's 20 years in the US Air Force. Dad wanted to honor Mom and send her off in style so he reserved a stretch limousine to drive us to Bushnell while Mom's casket was driven in a beautiful white hearse by Taylor Family Funeral Home. Dad also arranged for the quilt that draped Mom's casket to be folded like an American flag and presented to Traci - their firstborn child and my awesome Sister. I wore my Easter dress shirt to represent the resurrection, and Laurie did a fantastic job making a floral arrangement for Mom's casket and burial site. Dave & Carson helped wheel Mom's casket to the pavilion for the short service. It was a really good day and a wonderful final goodbye done in style, dignity, and honor... worthy of the amazing woman Mom is and the legacy she leaves =). See you in Heaven Birddog! Love you more!!
Special thanks to the entire staff at Taylor Family Funeral Home of Pinellas Park for doing such a loving, caring, & expert job helping us every step of the way along this journey. God bless you guys!


Friday, January 20, 2023



Some of the feedback we've received about Mom's Celebration of Life Service feels like a hit movie premiere: 
"Best life celebration ever!"
"I never laughed so hard at a funeral!"
"My husband never cries, and he couldn't stop crying."
"Amazing service! I'll never forget it! Awe inspiring!"
"The [highlight] video... I mean, that really hit the heart."
"Beautiful tribute."
"Your family sure likes to have fun!"
"Your mom was amazing."
WATCH THE SERVICE ON YOUTUBE HERE (see timeline below): 
Unlike most funerals we had a full month to plan it and that made all the difference (I have no idea how people pull this off in less than a week). Plus Mom lived a long & full life so we were able to have fun with it and celebrate "what was" instead of struggle through "what could have been" if she had passed away prematurely. And Mom knew Jesus so we know she is Heaven celebrating right now.  The fun and laughter throughout the service was a perfect representation of Mom.
Thank you to all of our INCREDIBLE family & friends who attended (and watched online)!! Your presence blessed, comforted, and touched our hearts more than I could ever say.  
- Our cousin Dennis Maddox for doing such a great job of setting a fun & festive tone while officiating the service, leading praise & worship, and singing his hit song - "Heaven Came Down To Earth" (listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goSfQ_aQnes).
- Bagpiper Gemma Briggs for doing a fantastic job starting and finishing an unforgettable tribute to Mom (https://www.gbbagpiping.com/)
- Indian Rocks Baptist Church for hosting, live-streaming, supplying expert sound & video, access to instruments, and providing delicious refreshments after the service. (https://indianrocks.org/)
- Ed & Barbara Taylor and the fantastic crew of the Taylor Family Funeral Home! You helped us navigate this tough journey with grace, compassion, and expertise. (https://taylorfamilyfuneralhome.com/)
- All of our friends & family members who helped us prepare, and all those who travelled from out-of-town to attend. Aaaaaaand, Ellie & Wendy for participating last minute on-stage during the service.
- Nhi of Seasons Memory Care of Belleair for not only loving on Mom during her last 4 months of life, but for speaking on Mom's behalf at the service. You always go above & beyond Nhi! (https://www.seasonsalf.com/)
YOUTUBE link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWGZLOrH4CE
<> Pre-Service Slideshow for 26 minutes
<> (26:55) BAGPIPES TO START - Gemma Briggs
<> (28:20) WELCOME & PRAYER - Pastor Dennis Maddox
<> (30:00) PRAISE & WORSHIP - Pastor Dennis Maddox
<> (46:00) SOLO - Written by Pastor Dennis Maddox
<> (51:30) SCRIPTURE - Prov 31 read by Ellie Maddox
<> (53:30) BEST HIGHLIGHT VIDEO EVER! - "Birddog"
<> (1:04:35) OBITUARY - Read by Pastor Dennis Maddox
<> (1:07:20) SPEAKER #1 - Nguyen Ngoc Nhi of Seasons
<> (1:12:40) SPEAKER #2 - Laurie Finger (Friend)
<> (1:30:40) SPEAKER #3 - Jerry Garner (Husband) read by Wendy Williby (Niece)
<> (1:39:55) SPEAKER #4 - Traci Vescovi (Daughter)
<> (1:46:15) SPEAKER #5 - Doug Garner (Son)
<> (2:36:15) SPEAKER #6 - Carson Vescovi (Grandson)
<> (2:40:50) WORDS FROM FRIENDS -Anne Peck & Liz Mann
<> (2:44:05) CLOSING PRAYER - Pastor Dennis Maddox
<> (2:45:40) BAGPIPES TO FINISH - Gemma Briggs
The entire service from start to finish lasted about 2.5 hrs. We had so much to celebrate about Mom / Ann Garner! Thank you again to everyone who attended and watched online!
QUOTE OF THE DAY (after realizing the service lasted 2.5 hrs): Dad laughingly said on the way home, "You know Ann was special because not even presidents and dignitaries get a 2 1/2 hour service!" Hahahaha, I love it!
Here's to you BIRDDOG! You immensely blessed all of our lives!! Enjoy your ice cream in Heaven!