"Edmund Barkham Garner"
 June 10, 1903 / April 17, 1989    Aged  85 years

"Coach Garner in 1956"

Barkham Garner… A short biography by his son Robert Garner, class of 44…

    Barkham Garner was born in 1903 in Tallahassee Florida and lived there on a plantation that his father managed… The family left Florida when he was 10 years old, migrated west to Arizona and then to Los Angeles.. His father eventually became greens keeper at Los Angeles country club in Sawtelle and put in the first grass greens in California.

    Barkham had many jobs while growing up.. He dropped out of high school to help support the family.. He finally went back and graduated when he was 21 from Sweetwater Union High in Chula Vista Ca.. In 1925 Barkham married his high school sweetheart Charlotte Gollup… I was born Aug of 1926 just as he finally decided to go to college and enrolled at San Diego State.. He graduated in 1929. I was at least 3 years old when he got out of college. Barkham was quarterback (blocking back at 155 pounds) for 4 years, played basketball and I think baseball and worked to support his family..

    He was hired to teach in San Diego and in 1930 was hired to teach at the new South Gate High school.. My sister Ann was born in 1932.. Barkham had a special ability to meet people and show them how to make life a success.

    When he started teaching in 1930-31, teachers were paid only nine months a year so he always had a summer job and I think he had the two best jobs ever…First Earl McClary who owned Coast Ice Cream Co hired him to deliver ice cream to the many stores they had.. We always had lots of ice cream at home.. The other job he had was after he sold the orange orchard was driving the island passenger ferry boat at Balboa Island.. He met hundreds of people from all over the world..

  During his career, Barkham was offered the position of football coach at San Diego State College.. He turned it down saying he wanted to stay with the kids at high school..

    During "world war II " Barkham was Superintendent of Athletics for the Los Angeles School District and could have had the job permanently, but again turned it down to stay with the kids… He was President of the State Coaches Association and was instrumental in getting pay for coaching after the regular day was over.. He was an excellent official, both football and basketball… He was the first referee when the High School North and South Shrine game began and did it for many years..

    In 1945 he bought an orange grove in Yorba Linda and commuted 54 miles daily to South Gate High (Before the freeways) and he was as good a farmer as he was a teacher and coach.. He had the touch… I had transferred to UCLA from Cal in 1946 and when it was going to freeze in winter he would call me and tell me I had to come home the next morning and fill the smudge pots so we could save the trees… I would skip class sometimes two or three days in a row…In 1960 He sold the orange orchard and moved to Balboa Island where he built three and sold two of these homes and then had a 80 mile round trip to South Gate High every day….


From 1960 Yearbook

    Barkham was good at what ever he decided to do.. An excellent bridge player… He was a very good golfer and told me that if he had not became a teacher he would have become a professional golfer… His brother Donald was pro at San Diego municipal for years.

   Three years after he retired in 1968 he came up to visit my family in Woodland and said one afternoon .. lets go play golf… We did and he shot one over par and had never seen the course or played a game in three years….

   Barkham Garner was 27 years old when he began his career at South Gate high in 1930 and retired from the school at 65 years old in 1968.. A total of 38 years…Barkham died in his sleep from natural causes in San Luis Obispo, Ca April 17th 1989 at the age of 85…….                                                



    More facts of Barkham Garners life and career will be added to this page as they become available… If you have any.... please send……