Greensburg man cherished family ties and barbering
Even though Philip C. Garner left the family’s barber shop business in South Greensburg in the 1970s to take a full-time job with Walworth Valve Co., he never really left hair cutting behind, family members said.
“On many Saturdays, you’d still find him in the basement of our home cutting the hair of family and friends,” said his daughter, Phylis DeFloria.
“He had a barber’s chair … the whole set-up downstairs in the basement,” added daughter, Elizabeth Leonard.
Garner, 92, of Greensburg, died Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018, at home after battling dementia for several years, the daughters said. He was born April 5, 1926, in Greensburg, a son of the late Raymond and Lena Lentini Garner.
“Dad was loyal, very hardworking, fun-loving and he really was family oriented,” DeFloria said.
He worked for years at the family barbershop that was started by his dad and was a fixture for decades on Broad Street in South Greensburg. He worked there with his three brothers, now all deceased.
After Walworth Valve Co., Garner went to work with the Westmoreland County Housing Authority.
“Dad made good friends everywhere he worked,” Leonard said. “He was that kind of guy.”
A member of St. Bruno Church, Garner was a Navy veteran, having served from 1944-46 during World War II.
Through friends, he met his wife, Carmella R. DiOrio Garner, who was from the nearby community of Hilltop. The couple was married for 59 years.
“Dad used to have a 1958 Corvette, which he bought new, and he was very proud of that,” DeFloria said. “Mom and Dad used to get dressed up on weekends and go jitterbugging at Mr. P’s. They loved dancing to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.”
Leonard noted that her father also enjoyed gardening and birdwatching.
“Oh, and he always loved eating,” she said. “Mom’s spaghetti and meatballs was his favorite, and he always loved being with his grandchildren.”
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, James, Angelo “Raymond” and Joseph Garner; and three sisters, Margaret Long, Lucy Thomas and Gloria Piccolo.
He is survived by his wife; four children, Philip Garner, of Moscow, Idaho, DeFloria, Gregory Garner and Leonard, all of Greensburg; eight grandchildren and a sister, Linda Dobies, of South Greensburg.
Relatives and friends will be received 3 to 7 p.m. Monday in the Clement L. Pantalone Funeral Home Inc. in Greensburg. Parting prayers will be held at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday in the funeral home, followed at 10 a.m. by a funeral Mass to be celebrated in St. Bruno Church. Interment will follow in Greensburg Catholic Cemetery.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.