Thomas F. Garretson, 88, of Tavares, FL, passed away peacefully on December 7, 2012. Born and raised in Perth Amboy, NJ, he lived in Jackson, NJ, before moving to Florida in 1986. Tom lived in Ormond Beach for 19 years, and Eustis for 5 years, moving to Tavares in 2010. A 1942 graduate of Perth Amboy High School, Tom enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943. A proud Navy Veteran of World War II, Tom served with the 121st Naval Construction Battalion attached to the 4th Marines Division in the Battle of Kwajalein and Roi-Namur. Known as the SeaBees, the 121st went ashore with the Marines as they invades Saipan and Tinian. They repaired a captured enemy airfield on Saipan while the fighting was still raging. The 121st NCB helped build the airstrips on Tinian from where B-29 bombers took off to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Tom is a member of both the Navy SeaBee Veterans of America and the 4th Marines Division Association, Inc. Tom was the owner of the B & J White Diamond Diner in Perth Amboy and White Diamond Catering in Jackson for many years. Later he was a Route Salesman for Lance Snack Foods in the Jersey Shore area, retiring in 1986. Married for over 64 years, Tom was the beloved husband for 48 years of the late Mary (Gehret) Garretson, who passed away in 1995, and was the beloved husband for 16 years of Rev. Lela "Lee" (Proctor) Garretson. Devoted father of Ava Kaub and her husband Brian of Hawley, PA, Lee T. Garretson and his wife Deborah (Youmans) of Lakewood, NJ, and Roy B. Garretson and his wife Nancy (Shook) of Clifton, NJ. Cherished step father of Shawn Benetz and her husband Steve of Eustis, and Clay Stahl and his wife Mary of Parkville, MO. Dear brother of the late Edward H. Garretson, Esq., who passed away on December 7, 2005. Loving grandfather of Kimberly Kaub, Michael Kaub and his wife Donna, Amanda Sardo and her husband Gary, Thomas J. Garretson and his fiancé Annelise Newton, Matthew and Christopher Garretson, Justin Hartley, Megan Lee and her husband Erin, Valerie and Nathan Stahl. Cherished great grandfather of Mia and Casey Kaub and Luke Hartley. Sadly missed by his faithful companion, Winston. Funeral Services were Friday in New Jersey under the direction of the Shook Funeral Home, 639 Van Houten Ave., Clifton, NJ. Interment was in Alpine Cemetery, Perth Amboy. In lieu of flowers, donations made to Cornerstone Hospice Foundation, 2445 Lane Park Rd., Tavares, FL, 32778,, in Tom's memory, would be greatly appreciated.

Funeral Home

Shook Funeral Home - Clifton
639 Van Houten Avenue  Clifton, NJ 07013

Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Dec. 16, 2012