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Kristin Garrett (Jeanette Zimmerle), 79, passed away peacefully just before dawn on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, at her home in Killen, Alabama with her five daughters surrounding her.
She was born near Kilmichael, Mississippi on June 25, 1935, the twelfth of 13 children of John J. and Bettie H. Garrett. After graduating from high school, it was her ambition to go out into the world and earn a living, and she recalled the joy of being able for the first time to buy Christmas presents for each of her siblings and parents. While working at a bank in Memphis, Tennessee and lodging at the YWCA, her girlfriend Roberta said, "I'd like for you to meet my brother, John." After a whirlwind summer courtship, she and John Zimmerle, an engineering student at Memphis State, were married on Sept. 2, 1955.
They had five daughters who survive her, Betty (David) Smith, Killen, Susan Jester, Huntsville, Sandra (Kenneth) Day, Madison, Teresa Zimmerle, Killen, and Jennifer (Wes) Richardson, Muscle Shoals.
In addition to daughters and the father of her children, Kristin leaves nine precious grandchildren, Mindy (Corey) Crittenden, Killen, Carrah (Bryant) Lash, Killen, Sara (Aneel) Trivedi, Park Ridge, Ilinois, Christina Swanson, Burlington, Kentucky, Jessica Day, Chicago, Illinois, Andrew Day, Chicago, Illinois, and Abby, Jack, and C.J. Richardson, Muscle Shoals; ten cherished great-grandchildren, Evvie, Aidan, Aaron, and Brooklynn Crittenden, Dakota Swanson, Ember Guffey, Liviah and Hudson Lash, and Noah and Ethan Trivedi.
Surviving also are dear brother, William J. Garrett, Winona, Mississippi; dear sisters, Mary Lee Hunt, Fairhope, Alabama, and Dr. Sara (Fred) Dacus, Winona, Mississippi; numerous sweet nieces and nephews; and lifelong friends, Jerry and Helen Black Hovas, of Greenwood, Mississippi.
In addition to beloved parents, six brothers, and three sisters, she was predeceased by a great-granddaughter, Zoe B. Parker, of Killen.
Kristin with her graces and gentle ways had many talents; sewing, writing, and creating a charming and comfortable home for her growing family as she and John relocated during the space race of the sixties. She played bridge, volunteered, bowled in leagues, and taught vacation Bible school. In her mid-fifties she worked at TVA, Muscle Shoals, and moved with the company to Kingston, Tennessee, and Bowling Green, Kentucky, always relishing a new location and new experiences. She took college courses well into into her sixties, from University of Alabama in Huntsville to Western Kentucky University.
In her last months she was at peace: "The Lord will take care of me." She loved the Gaithers, and receiving cards and visits from her Sunday School class, taught by Mary Norwood, and from her pastor, David McKelvey.
The family would like to thank Dr. John Bartmess, Dr. Felix Morris, Dr. Patrick Daugherty, Gentiva Hospice and Kim Quinn Gaisser, the caring nurses and staff at Mitchell-Hollingsworth Rehab, Betty Brown of ElderCare (her favorite night nurse), and friend Margie Vandiver for their compassionate, professional care.
Visitation was from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday Aug. 26, at Elkins East Chapel, Killen. Brother David McKelvey will officiate at services at Elkins East today at 2 p.m., with burial to follow at the cemetery at First Baptist Church Killen (where she was a member) beside great-granddaughter, Zoe.
Pallbearers will be sons-in-law and grandsons-in-law.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations to
, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, in her memory.
Elkins East Chapel - Killen
7435 Hwy 72 Killen, AL 35645
Published in Florence Times Daily from Aug. 26 to Aug. 27, 2014