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Joe Travis Garrison

Joe Travis Garrison Joe Travis Garrison, attorney, of Austin, Texas died in the early morning hours of January 1, 2010 after a long, hard, determined battle with lung cancer. He was not a smoker. We will dearly miss our father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, and counselor. Joe was born in Lubbock, Texas on July 11, 1935 to Travis and Thelma Garrison. After graduating from Lubbock High School, Joe attended and graduated from Baylor University in Waco. He entered Baylor with the goal of becoming a "foreign medical missionary", but graduated with a degree in drama after coming under the influence of the renowned Paul Baker. After graduating from Baylor, Joe was drafted into the U.S. Army as a medic and was stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso. He taught briefly in the El Paso Independent School District after being honorably discharged from the Army. Joe lived in Texas all his life, except for a year spent in New York City as an insurance claims investigator, an experience that gave him many stories to tell. While in New York, he and his wife, Ursula, decided to move to Austin, where he graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1968. He was a member of the Praetors Law Fraternity. Joe practiced law in Austin, first in the City Attorney's Office and then as a private practitioner until his final illness. Everywhere he went in Austin, he would encounter someone he knew, whether colleague or client or friend, and he liked to stop and laugh and talk. He knew the city intimately and was entirely at home on any corner or in any café or office. Often, he frustrated clients and family and friends by being late to appointments because he would become so intensely focused on what he was doing that he would lose track of time. He was annoyed by "clock watchers" largely because he didn't understand them. Joe was a passionate, energetic, and skilled golfer who could be seen on various courses in and around Austin most week-ends and any other chance he got. His many other activities included carpentry, auto mechanics, plumbing, electronics, landscaping--and telling interminably long jokes that elicited comingled groans and chuckles. Joe had a mellow, wide-ranging tenor voice and over the years enjoyed singing with the Austin Civic Chorus, the Shriner's choir, and various church choirs. He sang in the tenor section of the choir at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection for his last twenty years and was often featured as a soloist. He was a poet who wrote searching, insightful philosophical poems that his family and friends treasure. In anything he wrote, he made each word count. In his legal writings, he sometimes introduced redundant points to give the Judge something to strike, because, as he explained, the judge was looking for something to strike. He would grin and say, "Bad writing, good law." He was a loyal and devoted friend and counselor who donated many hours to pro bono work for clients who were unable to pay, and he always rooted for the underdog. Joe is survived by his two eldest sons, Blake Travis Garrison and Theodore Henry Garrison, Blake's wife, Heather, and their son, Barrett. He is also survived by their mother, Ursula Garrison. Also surviving him is his youngest son, Eric Sean Garrison, and Eric's mother, Noreen McMahan. His surviving two sisters are Naomi Glaze (Ben) and Linda Garrison. His surviving four brothers are Tom (Liz), Tim (Beverly), Paul (Diane), and Raymond (Paula) and numerous nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection and father Jim Stockton for their kind, loving care of Joe. His church family made an invaluable difference in Joe's last months. The family would also like to thank Doris Moran for her care, concern, compassion, and companionship. Visitation will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 6, at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 North Lamar Blvd. A funeral service will follow at eleven o'clock a.m. on Thursday, January 7, at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, 2200 Justin Lane with Fr. James Stockton officiating. Interment will be at Austin Memorial Park. Memorial may be made to a favorite charity. Obituary and guestbook online at http://wcfish.com

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Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jan. 3, 2010
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