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Garth, George H (1903-1968) & Garth,Hallie Smith (1904-1968)


Posted By: Debbie Greenfield (email)
Date: 9/29/2017 at 10:36:36

Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Thursday, March 21, 1968

Head-on Crash Kills 5 at Ft. Dodge

2 local youths, ex-Webster City couple victims

Five persons, including two Webster City young men and a former Webster City couple, were killed early this morning in a head-on crash on Highway 20 about eight miles east of Fort Dodge.

Dead were Dennis Joseph Berleen, 21, and Gary Dean Brownfield, 25, both of Webster City; Mr. and Mrs. George Harold Garth, former Webster Cityans who resided near Fort Dodge, and Mrs. Mildred McCain, 49, Fort Dodge.

Glen McCain, 51, whose wife was one of those killed, was seriously injured in the crash and was taken to Mercy hospital in Fort Dodge where he was reported in fair condition.

Relatives here in Webster City reported that today was the birthday of both Mr. Garth, 65, and his wife, Hallie, 64. The Garths' younger son, Chester, residing in Cedar Rapids, also was born on March 21. The Garths formerly lived in Webster City before moving to Clear Lake where Mr. Garth was in the implement business for many years. The family had lived in the Fort Dodge community about 15 years and Mr. Garth was branch manager for the New Idea Implement Co.

Fort Dodge officials said the two couples were returning from the Iowa High Schools Boys basketball tournament in Des Moines after seeing the Fort Dodge Dodgers win their first tournament contest last evening.

According to the highway patrol, the accident occurred shortly after midnight, and Iowa Highway Patrol officers, headed by Darold Stinman of Fort Dodge, head investigator, said indications were that the eastbound Webster City youths' car, registered to Berleen, apparently had crossed the center line shortly before the impact.

Officials said the Berleen car was spun around by the impact and came to a halt in the westbound lane, facing west. The auto caught fire shortly after the crash, and some Fort Dodge high school students, coming upon the scene of the accident, pulled Berleen out, but he was reportedly already dead. The Vincent and Fort Dodge fire departments were called to extinguish the blaze.

Highway patrolmen and others called to the scene helped shove the other car, reportedly driven by Garth, away from the blazing Berleen auto to prevent it from catching fire, too. All the crash victims were apparently pinned inside the autos which had come to a stop on the pavement, both heading west.

The collision tied up traffic on Highway 20 for about two hours. A string of Fort Dodge school buses, coming home from the game in Des Moines, arrived on the scene shortly after the accident. Among the riders in one of the buses was a son of Mr. and Mrs. McCain.

Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 1968

Double rites Saturday for crash victims

Double funeral services for Mr. and Mrs. George Harold Garth, former Webster City residents who were killed early yesterday morning in the two-car crash near Fort Dodge which took three other lives, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the First Christian church in Fort Dodge.

The Rev. Thomas C. Polk will officiate and burial will be made in Graceland cemetery in Webster City.

Mr. Garth, 64, and Mrs. Garth, 63, would have observed their birthdays yesterday. Other victims of the crash were Mrs. Mildred Lucille McCain, 49, of Fort Dodge, who was riding with the Garths, and two Webster City youths, Dennis Joseph Berleen, 21, and Gary Dean Brownfield, 25. Glenn F. McCain, 51, whose wife was killed, was seriously injured in the crash.

Mr. and Mrs. Garth are survived by three children, Dick Garth, a Mason City high school coach; Chester Garth of Cedar Rapids and Mrs. Russell (Mary Lou) Novy of Northbrook, Ill.

Mr. Garth is also survived by his father, George Garth of this city; two brothers, Ray Garth of Webster City and James Garth of Clear Lake; and a sister, Mrs. Edna Clark of Webster City.

Mrs. Garth is also survived by two brothers, Millard Smith of Phoenix, Ariz., and Earl Smith of Crystal Lake, Minn.

The Garths are also survived by 10 grandchildren.

The Garths were active members of the First Christian church at Fort Dodge, Mr. Garth being a deacon of the church at the time of his death.


Hamilton Obituaries maintained by Janelle Graham Martin.
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