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Nancy Garrett


06/14/1942 - 09/28/2014 Obituary
Nancy Garrett Obituary
Nancy was born June 14, 1942 in Mesa, Az. as the family migrated to California from Texas, and was taken up to be with her Savior September 28, 2014 in Bakersfield, Ca. She was preceded in death by her parents, Willie Albert and Thelma Mae Anderson, and her brother, Charles Clay. When the family left Mesa, she made the trip in a small box they used for a crib. Upon the family's arrival in Bakersfield in late 1942, they lived in a labor camp on Edison Highway until a few years later when they built a small home in Fruitvale. Nancy attended Fruitvale school and was a graduate of Bakersfield High. She had many occupations over the years as well as being a businesswoman, having owned a small grocery store, a bar and grill, and was the last owner of the famed Tex's Barrel House. She was a waitress and bartender at The Junction for many years becoming friends with many in law enforcement and the railroad. At the age of fifty seven, she decided to go to college and become a chemical dependency counselor as well as getting her license as a realtor. She worked at Wal Mart until she received her CD certificate and worked in that field for Kern County Behavioral Services in Wasco until retiring there, then in the same field for TASK until her final retirement. Instead of taking it easy, she assumed child care duties for two of her great grand children, which she did until her passing. Her youngest was autistic which led her into another passion, researching and getting the message out about autism. It was impossible not to love her and it seemed it was impossible for her not to love everyone. She was the matriarch, centerpiece and glue of the family and would not allow differences to become grudges and interfere with family ties. She had many passions, but the most important was her family.
From the time of her children's births to the day she was taken, she never stopped tending to them whether blood, step, adopted or assumed. She tended to everything from broken bones to broken hearts and never missed a birthday or graduation as well as attending most extra curricular events in which the kids were involved. Another of her passions was local history. She spent many hours researching and discussing the rich history of Bakersfield and Kern County. She loved to read and was involved with Friends of the Library. She loved debating politics, trading on e-bay and interacting with her Facebook family, which was a big part of her life, and she loved her ice cream. She loved roadtrips with family no matter where they went and her sense of adventure was limitless unless it involved heights!
Her impact on the lives of her family and friends, even if they were only online friends, cannot be overstated. There is no way to know how many lives she touched, but it is certain that all she touched will miss her.
Nancy to her friends, Mom to her children, Nana to everyone else, she is survived by her son, Mark McGowan, his wife Jennifer, her daughter, Deborah Alford and husband Donald, her sister, Doris Roberts and husband, Al, her grandson, Blaine Hawkins and his wife, Kaley, granddaughters Cassandra McGowan and her husband, Jamen, Katie Jo Martinez, and Camilla and Ariel McGowan, five step grandchildren, three great grandchildren, five step great grandchildren and a multitude of extended family and friends, all of whom will miss her dearly. In lieu of cards or flowers, anyone wishing to, may make a donation to Autism Speaks.
A celebration of her life will be held at Fruitvale Norris Park at 1:00pm, October 19. All who knew her off or online are welcome to attend.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Oct. 12, 2014
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