GARRETT, Don Charles 80, of Citrus Park, passed away on Nov. 20, 2012. Don was born on Feb. 15, 1932 to Floy and James Garrett, who lived on a small farm near Slocomb, AL. He attended Daleville School until 1946, when his family moved to Tampa. There, he then attended Cuesta Jr. High. Wanting to follow in the footsteps of his three older brothers, who all served in the military during WWII, he fibbed about his age (he was 16 at the time) to the recruiter, and joined the Army National Guard in 1948. Upon turning 17, he was able to convince his father to sign the paperwork allowing him to join the regular (active duty) Army in 1949. After completing his training as a demolition specialist at Fort Belvoir, VA, he was deployed to Japan, and then on to Korea after the war broke out. While serving in Korea, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal (with Valor device). Don was honorably discharged from the Army on August 14, 1952 and returned to Tampa, where he attended night school at Jefferson High and earned his diploma. He began working in the electronics industry and eventually was hired by Peninsular Telephone Company, which later became General Telephone (GTE), as a Special Service Technician. He retired from GTE after 28 years of service. His favorite pastimes were fishing, BBQs, family gatherings, and camaraderie with friends. Don was known for his quick wit and sense of humor, but his greatest attribute was his impeccable love and caring for his family. He is survived by Hester (Peggy), his wife of 48 years; 2 sons, Pat Garrett & Mike Garrett; 5 daughters, Marilyn Garrett, Jeanne Parton, Sheila Jones, Dorothea James, and Peggy Lee Copley; his sister, Grace Holloway; 10 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren. Don was a very likeable guy who "never met a stranger", so to speak. He will be missed immensely and remembered always. The family will receive friends and guests for visitation at the Blount & Curry Funeral Home (Carrollwood Chapel) 3207 W. Bearss Ave, Tampa, on Monday, Nov. 26th, 6-8 pm. A funeral service will be held at the Blount & Curry Chapel on Tuesday, Nov. 27th at 10:30 am, followed by interment with military honors at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell at 1 pm. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Moffitt Cancer Center in Don Garrett's memory. Words of comfort may be left at: blountcurrycarrollwood.com.
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Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Nov. 25, 2012