Jerry Philip Garnett, 85, went to be with the Lord on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Jerry was born on March 9, 1936, in Covington, Kentucky, to Edgar and Lucy (Click) Garnett. He was the youngest brother to Jimmy and Ronald and the older brother to Joyce, Pat and Christine. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and Jerry loved to play baseball and get into mischief. He used to sneak into bars to listen to Hank Williams Sr. play live. As a young teen, he stole and wrecked his brother Jimmy's car and was scared. So, he ran away to hitchhike and live with the Indians but ended going back home to face the music after it got dark and lonely. Later in life, he eventually did run away to live with the Indians in Alaska.
At the age of 17, Jerry with his parents' permission, enlisted in the U.S. Army and served from 1954 to 1957 with an honorable discharge. He was able to travel the U.S. and overseas while proudly serving our country.
From his first marriage to Ester, they had Ronnie, Bobby and Jeanie. It was over 50 years ago when he met the love of his life, Lillian Garnett, in Cleveland. When Lillian had to return to Alaska for her father's funeral, Jerry followed and became a lifelong Alaskan for 50 years making a home in Arctic Village and Fairbanks. He fell in love with Arctic Village and the people, and they loved him back.
Jerry and Lillian also became parents to Mike, Brandon and Tonya. Jerry was so proud of his children and grandchildren. His life's purpose was to have a family filled with love. Some of Jerry's last words were to his wife saying, "Thank you for being the best wife in the world. I want to tell you that. I love you. The best decision I ever made was to marry you."
Jerry was a good man who worked hard all his life whether it was at Ford Motor Company in Ohio, at Indian Mountain or working up North on the oilfields for 26 years. People in Arctic remember him working in his later years at the Midnight Sun Native Store.
Jerry loved camping, outdoors, fishing, his beer, sometimes vodka, and especially the Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Browns. He called Alaska home but carried Cleveland in his heart always.
Jerry will be remembered by his humor, kind spirit, his spaghetti and cowboy beans, and the love for his family. He played a father and grandpa role to many. We love you Dad/Grandpa!
Jerry leaves behind his wife, Lillian Garnett; children, Ronnie, Bobby (Jean), Jeanie, Mike (Michelle), Brandon, Tonya; grandchildren, Rebecca, Gina, Danielle, Danny (Pamela), Nick, Stephanie (John), Dennis, Suzanne, Raeann, Anthony (Alejandra), Ashton Philip; great-grandchildren, Ariel, Danielle, Justin, Cody, Kasey, Henry, Nova, Zander, Braeden, Parker, Madeline, Hunter, Juliana, Hector, Eli, Sean Wolf; sister, Christine (Sue) Garnett; sister-in-law, Sarah James; brother-in-law; Gideon James; and many nieces and nephews in Alaska and Ohio.
Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, Edgar and Lucy Garnett; granddaughter, Holly; siblings, Ronald (Judy) Garnett, Jimmy (Louie), Joyce (Charles), Pat Garnett; siblings-in-law, Nena Russell, Dorothy (Abraham) John, Albert James.
There will be a visitation at noon Wednesday at Fairbanks Funeral Home, 3704 Erickson Ave., followed by a short service at 1?p.m. The family will bring him home to Arctic Village that same day. The final funeral and burial is 1?p.m. Thursday in Arctic Village. Arrangements are entrusted to Fairbanks Funeral Home.
Published by Daily News-Miner on Aug. 24, 2021.