Ralph Edward "Reg" Garner, president of TW Garner Food Co., died June 26 at the age of 56 after a long illness. Memorial services were held June 30. The following is an excerpt of a press statement from the company:
From 1974, Garner worked in nearly every department of TW Garner Food, becoming skilled and knowledgeable in each. In 1986, he was elected assistant secretary-treasurer of the company, and he was elected to the position of president in 1994. Under his direction, TW Garner Food was awarded the Mass Mutual National Family Business of the Year--Medium Category in 2003 and the North Carolina Small Business of the Year Award from Business North Carolina Magazine in 2004.

He was an advisor, a mentor and a beloved friend to so many in the business world. His eye for detail and strong financial acumen helped him lead TW Garner Food Company from a small regional food manufacturing company to a national food marketing and manufacturing firm with its well-known national brands, Texas Pete Sauces and Green Mountain Gringo® Salsas and Tortilla Strips. Garner was a legendary supporter of the food processing industry in the Southeast. He provided his leadership to the Southeastern Food Processors Association as a board member and served as the SFPA's president in 1998-1999. In May of 2009, he was honored with the SFPA's highest honor-the Bloodworth Distinguished Service Award.

Garner is survived by his wife Elizabeth Redwine Garner; three children, Dorothea Garner McCollum (Lewis Matt), Heyward Evans Garner (Tiffany), Elizabeth Marie Garner; his mother Alice Turner Garner and his sister Ann Garner Riddle (Arthur), his aunts, Margaret May Garner and Elizabeth Garner McKinney, as well as numerous cousins. Reg was especially proud of his three beautiful grandsons: Evan, Hayden and Logan.