Cowboy John, SETX TV icon from 50's & 60's, passes away - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Cowboy John, SETX TV icon from 50's & 60's, passes away


Roughly 50 years ago Southeast Texas children would gather around the television set to watch the Circle 4 Club's kiddy show and a man known to them as Cowboy John.

John Garner, the man who played Cowboy John, passed away Sunday at the age of 82.

Garner had been battling pancreatic cancer for two years and was bedridden at his home in Port Arthur.

John's sidekick, known as Black Bart, was played by John Stevens.  He shared the screen with Cowboy John for six years and was at Garner's side when he passed.

The first shows were in black and white.  They made the transition to color a little over a decade later. The shows were live with children in the audience.

12News recently spoke to Stevens who said the kids clung to the man with the cowboy hat.

"They just thought he (Garner) was somebody really special. Here is somebody that you see on the screen but somebody you can also feel and touch and be with and he just fit the bill real well," said Stevens.

The show also hosted popular guests including singer Eddie Arnold.

"One of our favorites who came down often and was probably the finest gentleman to work with was Mr. Eddie Arnold. What a fine gentleman he was," said Stevens.

Before coming to Port Arthur to work at KPAC, Garner, worked at a radio station in Camden, Ark.

He is survived by his wife, Sue, and four children.

Funeral arrangements are pending at Clayton Thompson funeral home.

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