Barber County Kansas

The Chosen Land: Barber County, Kansas
, page 188.

Robert Steven Garten

by R. Steven Garten

On the 2nd of June, 1973, Dr. Robert Steven Garten and Miss Joan Kay Thompson exchanged wedding vows at the First United Methodist Church in Medicine Lodge, Kansas. Joan and Steve lived in Barber County all their marriage.

After their honeymoon in Arkansas and Missouri, they moved to Orange City, Iowa. There, Steve practiced veterinary medicine in a five man practice. Most of the work was with cattle and swine. Before long the Gartens moved to Dodge City, where Steve practiced in a three-man practice, and Joan worked at he Dodge City Medical Center as a nurse.

In April, 1975, Steve left the life of civilian and joined the Air Force Veterinary Corps. Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, became the Gartens next home.

On the 27th of October, 1976, the family grew to three. Justin Robert was born early that morning.

The next move for the family proved to be a long one. Steve was re-assigned to RAF Lakenheath (Royal Air Force Base), England. Steve headed for England in May, 1977; Joan and Justin followed in July. In August the Gartens became English land owners by buying a house in the village of Brandon, Suffolk, England. Besides seeing much of the United Kingdom, Joan and Steve were fortunate to see parts of France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Russia. The Gartens are due to return to the United States in May of 1980.

Joan's parents are Robert (Bob) and Ruth Thompson, and Steve's are Robert (Bob) and Donna Garten. Both families call Barber County home. Joan and Steve had a common start in life, since both were born at Hardtner. Joan has three brothers; Wayne, Melvin, and Steve, and had one sister, Judy, deceased. Steve has one sister, Cathy.

Joan lived on the Thompson family farm and ranch near Union Chapel all her life, until she was married in 1973. She attended the following schools: Dry Creek for 1st and 2nd grades; Hardtner Grade School, 3rd through 8th; Medicine Lodge High School (1966-1971); and 3 years at Kansas State University. Joan enjoys all sports, music, furniture refinishing, photography, and horseback riding.

Steve's family lived on three different farm-ranches while he grew up. His first four years were spent on the Cook ranch north of Hardtner. The family next moved to the north part of Barber County near Coats, Kansas. Here Steve's first year of grade school was spent at Harmony country school. The 2nd through 5th grades were at Coats, then another move. This time to the Davis Ranch-Farm, southwest of Sharon. Steve finished grade school at Sharon, then attended Medicine Lodge High School (1963-1967). For the next six years he attended Kansas State University. In 1973 he graduated with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree.

Steve's hobbies and interests include hunting, fishing, politics, government, and collecting playing cards.

With God's help the Gartens look forward to the future.

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