Friends and family of Patricia McSwain Garner, 58, are mourning her death this week after she was found fatally shot Monday morning.

Garner, who was found dead in the yard of her County Road 2303 home, had worked as a nurse in Jacksonville for more than 30 years. She was employed by CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances in Jacksonville at the time of her death, where she was hired in 2008, hospital officials said.

“Everyone that worked with Patricia over the years admired her work ethic and kindness, and the way she so freely shared her gifts with everyone she encountered,” said CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances-Jacksonville Administrator Natalie Duncan. “She will be greatly missed.”

Garner began with CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances as an RN/case manager. In August 2015, she was promoted to clinical director.

Cherokee County sheriff's officials were called a little after 6 a.m. Monday to a residence on CR 2303, approximately four miles south of Rusk, to a report of two people shot.

“When we got there, we found a man and a woman in the yard. They were dead of apparent gunshot wounds,” said Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell.

The deceased were identified as Patricia McSwain Garner and James Allan Garner, 61.

“It appeared that Mr. Garner shot his wife and then took his own life. We are told that Mr. Garner had been having some issues recently,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he does not believe sheriff's officials have responded to the location prior to Monday for any type of offense. A relative found the couple in the yard and called officials. A shotgun was used in the incident, Campbell reported.

The bodies were taken to Southeast Forensics of Tyler for autopsies to be performed.

Funeral services for Patricia Garner are planned for 10 a.m. Friday at Autry Funeral Home Chapel.

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