John Arthur Garrison, 61, kind and dedicated son of Roger K. and Cloe T. Garrison, passed away unexpectedly of complications from diabetes, at his home in Sunnyside, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008.
He was born Jan. 23, 1947 in Aberdeen. He spent his early years in Seattle and moved with his family to Sunnyside in 1954. He graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1965.
He was a Vietnam-era veteran, enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1968. He completed basic training at Fort Lewis and his advanced training in military intelligence at Fort Holabird, Md. He achieved the rank of sergeant and was honorably discharged in 1971.
He graduated from Yakima Valley Community College, where he studied criminal justice and he received his BA in History from Central Washington University, while working full-time at the Juvenile Justice Center in Yakima.
After graduating from the Washington State Law Enforcement Academy he worked as a deputy sheriff in Klickitat county and later as a residential counselor for Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health.
Recent years were spent managing his parent's orchard. He spent many a cold spring night watching the temperature and starting the wind machine when the temperature became critical.
He loved horses and worked as a trail guide on Mount Rainier and at the Flying L Ranch on Mt. Adams during his high school summers. He grew up hunting with his grandfather, father and brothers and had a wonderful understanding of the outdoors, nurtured through his years as a Boy Scout. He was also passionate about pursuing his hobbies of prospecting and geology with his best friend, Scott Stiltner and his cousin, Marty Charvet.
He was a voracious reader and read, literally, thousands of books on a wide variety of topics. He was also an avid collector of military history memorabilia, and had an encyclopedic knowledge of weapons, munitions and ballistics. He greatly enjoyed teaching his younger sisters and nephews how to shoot and handle firearms respectfully.
Most of all he loved being with his friends and family. He was a very dependable, caring and generous man who never had a harsh word for anyone. He will be missed terribly by his family, friends and neighbors.
He was a wonderful brother to Catherine (Ron) Smith, Carolyn (Robert) Williams, Paul (Kathi) Garrison, Douglas (Bobbi) Garrison and Christine Garrison; and a kind and supportive uncle to Christopher (Kay Lynn), Casey and Jacob Garrison, Jason (Petra) Smith, Christine Jones, Rachel and Steven Smith.
Viewing will be held Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008, from 4 to 6 p.m. with recitation of the Rosary at 6 p.m. at Valley Hills Funeral Home in Sunnyside. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, Sept. 26, 2008, at 1 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Grandview. A private family burial with military honors will be held at the Outlook Cemetery.
Those wishing to share their memories or sign John's on-line memorial book may do so at www.valleyhillsfh.com. Memorials, if desired, may be made to the American Diabetes Association.
Valley Hills Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.