Obituaries » Janet E. Garbee

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Janet E. Garbee

August 22, 1934 - September 18, 2020

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Janet Edwards Garbee ,86, of Lawyers, Virginia completed “a perfect life”, surrounded by her children, on September 18, 2020. Born in Harrisonburg, Virginia on August 22, 1934, she was the daughter of the late David Grattan and Alda Showalter Edwards.

This year marked the 65th wedding anniversary of Janet and her husband, Ernest R. “Rudy” Garbee, III. Together Janet and Rudy built a home, raised 3 beautiful children, and actively participated in the lives of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The two enjoyed trips to the beach, dining at local restaurants, and nightly games of cards and cribbage. As they aged, Rudy became Janet’s eyesight and she his memory. As a result of COVID-19, the two were separated for several months, as she was unable to visit the long-term care facility where Rudy was living. In July, however, the two were re-united at Accordius Health, where their daughter, Lynette, was able to participate in their care.

Janet has been a member of Mead Memorial United Methodist Church since 1969. There she sang in the choir and served as the UMW Treasurer. She was probably best known for her famous pimento cheese sandwiches, which graced the table of almost every church function.

A graduate of Virginia Baptist Hospital School of Nursing, Janet was an RN. It was there that she met her friend of 60+ years, Mary Evelyn. As a fellow nursing student, Mary was caring for Rudy’s accident-prone cousin, Herman Garbee, who had gotten in a tussle with a morning glory vine and a corn picker.   Herman and Mary began dating and in short order, Janet and Rudy were set up on a blind date. They wed at 8:30 a.m. on August 28, 1955. Janet went on to become “the allergy nurse” at Hopkins Pediatrics where she provided shots to countless children over a 20-year career.

Janet was an avid reader and crafter/needle worker until she lost her sight. Thereafter, she adapted using books on tape and developing a friendship with Alexa! She was always aware of social and political events and respectful of the personal views of others. Her kind and generous spirit will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Janet is survived by her husband, Rudy, and their children, Lynette and Robert Brooks of Lynchburg, Randy and Anita Garbee of King George, Va., and Grattan and Lavinia Garbee of Lynchburg. She is Granny to 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren with another one on the way. She also leaves behind her brothers, David Edwards and his wife Shirley of Lynchburg, and Bernard Edwards and his wife Carolyn of Weyers Cave, Va.

To the end, Janet retained her sharp memory and ability to communicate.

She has requested that we refrain from conducting a formal service or memorial until she is joined by her beloved husband. At that time there will be a Celebration of their perfect lives. In the interim, friends and family are welcome to visit the Garbee Family Cemetery in Lawyers, Virginia at a time of their choosing.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to Mead Memorial United Methodist Church, EquipFM Radio Ministry (, or Centra Hospice. The family would like to thank the caretakers at Accordius, and Ellen Justice and the Centra Hospice Team for all they did to make Janet’s transition a peaceful one.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.

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