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Mervin D. Garretson

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Mervin D. Garretson Obituary
SUMMERFIELD, FLA. Mervin D Garretson, 89, of Summerfield, Fla., died of complications of pneumonia Wednesday, Jan. 9, at Leesburg Regional Medical Center.

Cremation has taken place. No services are planned.

His beloved wife, Carol, passed away Nov. 28, 2012. He is survived by his five daughters, Randee Garretson of Lutz, Fla., Shelley Garretson of Great Falls, Kyrie Garretson of Frederick, Md., Kaja Farnsworth of Clarksburg, Md., and Kelsi Oswald of Trinity, Fla. He is also survived by seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Merv was born in Sheridan, Wyo. He became profoundly deaf at 5 years of age due to spinal meningitis. He attended the Colorado School for the Deaf then went to Gallaudet University, where he graduated in 1947. He worked at the Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick, and then took the job of principal of the Montana School for the Deaf in Great Falls from 1949-1962. He then went to work for Gallaudet University in a variety of roles for the next 30 years or so.

He was one of a select group of deaf educators who helped shape the path of deaf education and culture through the '60s and on into today. A dynamic leader his whole life, he continued to be active in deaf organizations, traveling and speaking even into his 80s. The National Association for the Deaf has published a moving memoriam on their website (

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Mervin D. and Carol J. Garretson Scholarship Fund at Gallaudet University.

Condolences may be posted online at

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Jan. 22, 2013
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