Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Eulogy for Alta Garnett (1908-2011)

Written and Delivered by Dr. G. Ted Taylor on Tuesday, April 19, 2011
at Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home, 210 Greensburg Street, Columbia, KY

Alta Barbee Garnett, Columbia, KY, (1908-2011)


Thirty-seven thousand, four hundred and twenty-four days represents the number of days thatAlta Garnett lived a blessed life. Over this span of time, Alta experienced a stable foundationthat enabled her to constantly adjust to more than a century of rapidly changing culture.

Mrs. Garnett's foundation for her blessed life was one house, one school, and one churchduring her lifetime.

  • Alta lived in one house on the corner of High Street and Greensburg Street, except for abrief stint in Texas during World War II, and recently at Summit Manor.
  • Alta attended one school, Lindsey Wilson, beginning in the first grade and graduatingfrom Lindsey Wilson College fourteen years later.
  • Alta joined one church, Columbia Baptist Church, and was a member for 92 years.
This stability provided a solid foundation for a remarkable journey of a blessed life that spannedover a century. The blessings that she received were lovingly passed on to her family and to thecommunities she loved...Lindsey Wilson College and Columbia (Adair County).

From another perspective Alta Garnett experienced and observed the following moments inlocal history:
  • Alta saw the end of Lindsey Wilson College football 75 years ago and she witnessed theresurgence of the Lindsey Wilson Blue Raider football program in 2010.
  • Alta rode the stagecoach line that her father operated between Columbia andCampbellsville. There were four stops on the line where you paid a ten-cent toll. Thestops were outside Columbia near Russell Creek where the Barbee farm was located.The next stop was at the Ebenezer Road intersection. Horses were changed at Sublett'safter they crossed the Green River, and then Toll was charged outside Campbellsvillebeside what used to be Southway Restaurant.
  • Alta saw Page's Ford become covered in water from the Green River Dam and thevillage of Neatsville almost disappear when its residents had to move.
  • As a teenager, Alta was a regular at Griffin Springs, a resort between Columbia andCampbellsville, visiting with affluent visitors from all over the Commonwealth.
  • Alta had picnics at Big Rock on Green River at the old Atchley Mill.
From crank phones to cell phones, the amount of change that Alta observed and experiencedwas amazing, but she was able to adjust because of her strong home, oneschool, and one church.

As I have focused attention to the days of Alta's life, it is interesting the importance of days inthe Holy Scriptures. I will use a variety of Scriptures that use the word "day" to uncover Alta'ssecrets to living a blessed life.
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.-Psalm 118:24
It is said about Ms. Alta that she always looked through rose-colored glasses. In other words,she found the positive in every situation. As an example, Alta was the Grand Marshall for theLindsey Wilson College Homecoming Parade in 2009. She agreed on the following condition:Alta wanted to ride in a convertible with a handsome escort. The temperatures dropped tonear zero but she said that would be fine because this change would allow her an opportunityto wear her mink coat and mink hat. Ms. Alta saw every day as a gift from God to be enjoyed.
Give us each day our daily bread. - Luke 11:3
I believe Ms. Alta asked God each day for what she needed to face each day. Her secret was tofollow God one day at a time and at the end of the total was 37,424.

When we trust God with one day at a time, it is amazing what God can do in orchestratingindividual days into a blessed life. Alta's secret to life was to live life to its fullest, one day at atime.
Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere.I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my Godthan dwell in the tents of the wicked.Psalm 184:10
Ms. Alta exercised her mind by giving attention to community, state, national, and internationalnews. She was an avid reader of the newspaper and also enjoyed reading books. Listening toall types of music energized her creative energies. Charles and Alta would invite people to theirhouse on Saturday night to play the organ and sing. Alta loved to play the song, "Roll out thebarrel...we'll have a barrel of fun." The organ was the center of her home and Alta was the lifeof the party.
Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy. - Exodus 20:8
Sunday was Alta's favorite day of the week because she loved to worship God and be withGod's people at the Columbia Baptist Church. Ms. Alta loved to wear her Sunday best clothesto church as she was always dressed to the "T." She saw life as a gift and always wanted tobring her best to Jesus.
Today is the day of salvation. -2 Corinthians 6:2b
Over 92 years ago, Alta asked Jesus into her heart and life. This began a love relationship withher Savior that sustained her in this life and continues in eternity. He has a prepared place justfor her and I'm sure there is an organ there.

Alta really is "in heaven" because there are people around her all the time and it's a festiveatmosphere with non-stop music and constant worship of her Savior.

Alta Garnett's legacy that she passes on to the next generation of women who want to bewomen of faith is:
  • Build your life on a solid foundation.
  • Be a blessing to your family.
  • Follow God's lead.
  • Enjoy the journey.
  • Experience the blessed life.
If you would like to write a comment to Dr. Taylor, visit:


Before you were born, God wanted you to know Him personally. He chose to show you how much Heloves you. But to accept His offer, you need to know the ABC's of Salvation.
A - ADMIT to God you're a sinner: Sin is refusing to acknowledge God's authority over your life.Everyone sins. The result of sin is spiritual death or eternal separation from God when you die. Repent;turn away from your sin and toward God. (See Acts 3:19; Romans 3:23; 6:23)

B - BELIEVE in Jesus Christ as God's Son and accept Jesus' gift of forgiveness from sin. Jesus took thepenalty for your sin by dying on the cross because you could not meet God's requirement for a perfectsacrifice for your sins. (See John 3:16)

C - CONFESS to God your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. As Lord, Jesus has earned the right tobe obeyed as a sheep obeys his shepherd. (See Romans 10:9-10, 13; I John 1:9)
You may pray a prayer similar to this:
Dear God, I know that You love me. I admit I am a sinner. Please forgive me for my sin.I place my faith in Jesus as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus' nameI pray, amen."
If you sincerely asked Jesus to be your Savior, tell a pastor or another Christian about your decision.Show your faith in Christ by asking a Bible-believing church for baptism by immersion. (See Matthew28:19-20; Acts 2:41). - Dr. G. Ted Taylor

This story was posted on 2011-04-19 15:24:12
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

To sponsor news and features on ColumbiaMagazine, please use our contact form.


Quick Links to Popular Features content is available as an RSS/XML feed for your RSS reader or other news aggregator.
Use the following link:

Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270-250-2730 Fax: 270-751-0401

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.