James Garrett Profile Photo
1922 James 2013

James Garrett

May 4, 1922 — January 15, 2013

James "Emmett" Garrett stepped peacefully and joyously into heaven on January 15, 2013 at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, Texas. Emmett was born on May 4, 1922 in Foster Township, Illinois to Frank Garrett and Pearle Jones Garrett. Emmett grew up in Kinmundy and Granite City, Illinois and graduated from Granite City High School in 1940. After high school, he attended Browns Business College in St. Louis and soon went to work. He was drafted into the Army in 1942 and was shipped to Hawaii where he trained for jungle and amphibious combat. Then President Truman intervened. As Emmett recalled recently "we had all this amphibious and jungle combat training and in the first week of August 1945, we made a landing on an uninhabited island. Once we hit the island, we waited. Eventually, the Navy came ashore and said for everybody to return to their ship but we didn't know why. It was soon announced to us that the atomic bomb had been dropped on Japan. That was followed by the Armistice on August 15. Then we were sent on to Japan as Occupational Forces and I was one of the first soldiers that set foot in Japan. President Truman saved my life that day by dropping the bomb." Emmett was discharged from the Army in 1946 at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri but remained a dedicated American patriot who felt strongly about our country and defending the principles our great nation was founded on. The family put down roots in Odessa in 1959 where Emmett eventually became a co-owner of an oil well servicing company until his retirement in 1985. After retiring, Emmett and Laura loved to travel and frequently went with various friends and groups on many fun and memorable trips. Emmett's first love was his family. Emmett set a standard in the home for his daughters of always doing your personal best, both at school and at a job. Emmett always displayed a youthful joy for life and had a keen sense of humor. His mental acuity was astounding to the very end. Above all, he wanted to remain independent and not be a burden to anyone. In addition to gardening, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, making lifelong friends and had a passion for golf. He played his last round of 18-holes at the age of 89 and continued to take his twin grandsons to the driving range routinely after he no longer played the course. Emmett was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Gladys Chandler of Pontiac, Illinois. Emmett is survived by his wife, Laura of Odessa; his daughters Carla and son-in-law Dan Pack of Southlake, Texas, Denise and son-in-law Richard Kelly of Odessa; his sister and brother-in-law Donna and Bill Beard of Alma, Illinois; his granddaughters Angela Pack Ortiz and husband Noel of Springdale, Arkansas, Kristie Pack Graham and husband Jason of Mt. Pleasant, Texas, Michelle Pack Brower and husband Tim of Denver, Colorado; grandsons Garrett and Clayton Kelly of Odessa; great grandchildren Nathan, Daniel, Luke, Julia and Emma Ortiz, Jordan, Konner and Victoria Graham and his "BFF" Gabriella Brower. He leaves behind many nieces, nephews, special neighbors and dear friends. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the Sandy Branch Cemetery, 4586 Kinoka Road, Alma, Illinois 62807 or to the charity of your choice. Order Flowers


Interment Sandy Branch Cemetery Directions Visitation Friday, January 25, 2013 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM Email Details Service Saturday, January 26, 2013 11:00 AM Email Details
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