Garth grew up in the 1920's and 30's in small town Manitoba. He worked as Head of the Scientific Information Section of Forestry Research in the Federal Government before retiring to Vancouver Island in 1976. He and his wife chose community service as their retirement project. They assisted in the creation of the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre and museum, and published the community newsletter. Both were honoured as Valued Volunteers in 1985 by the provincial government. Later in 2001 Garth was chosen volunteer of the Year in the Cowichan Valley.
Care for his wife for over a decade of Alzheimer's Disease convinced him that family caregivers need and deserve all the help they can get. He was instrumental in starting Family Caregivers Support Society.
In 2006 the Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean, gave him the Caring Canadian Award. She described the recipient of the award as follows: "You are the glimmer of hope that saves so many people from sinking into solitude and helplessness … you are the models of sharing and openness, and inspire those around you and coming generations to follow in your footsteps".