Charles A. Garrett, 85, of Benton, Arkansas, passed away April 18, 2013 at Saline Memorial Hospice surrounded by wife and sons.
Charlie was born March 29, 1928 to the late Arthur and Sylvia Garrett in the southwest Arkansas community known as Weaver. He was the second of four siblings including the late George Garrett and the surviving Marion Huegin of Placentia, California and Glenda Westmoreland of Prescott, Arkansas.
Charlie grew up near Caney, Arkansas during the depths of the Great Depression. He lived in a small schoolhouse that his father converted and moved single handedly to the family farm with a team of mules and a few logs. Like many of their neighbors, Charlie’s family grew almost all its food and was nearly self-sufficient, a trait that accompanied him throughout his life and which was evidenced in later years by the items he salvaged, creatively repaired, displayed at his home, and gave as gifts. His family suffered a serious blow when Charlie’s father was injured and unable to return to his former strength. Though only thirteen, Charlie joined a logging crew to help support his family by felling timber with cross cut saws, the first in a lifetime of honest jobs performed honorably.
For most of his adult life Charlie drove semi trucks for large companies including his most loved, Jones Truck Lines in Springdale, Arkansas. During his career, he drove more than four million miles without a single at fault accident. Against all odds, he managed to impart a similar skill to his teenage sons who credit their relatively few accidents to their father’s fine example.
Charlie was an active member of Northside Church of Christ where he served as a deacon and oversaw its benevolent operations for many years. In recent years, he was known by the children as “The Candy Man” due to the melt in your mouth peppermints he dispensed at the three weekly services. The men of the church knew him as the man who could tell what was wrong with the church van just by looking at it and the one who managed its repairs to his level of satisfaction. In the 1970s, he helped create Northside’s summer Bible tent camp for kids from the church and the community. Thanks in part to his tireless efforts and those of his wife, Ruth, and close friends Malcolm and Claudia Nichols and Charles and Mary Jackson the camps grew in size and quality until they were eventually held at Camp Barton on Lake Greason, a first rate establishment with real cabins, a kitchen, and showers with cold and hot water.
Charlie retired from driving in April, 1990 and enjoyed many happy hours trailer camping, crappie fishing, “piddling around” in his workshop, feeding the squirrels, and entertaining his grandsons Cody and Logan Garrett and his late arriving granddaughter Olivia Garrett.
Charlie is survived by his wife of fifty-eight years Ruth Brown Garrett of Benton; his older son Steve Garrett; his younger son Reggie Garrett; his grandsons Cody and Logan Garrett; and his granddaughter Olivia Garrett all of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Visitation of Mr. Garrett is scheduled from 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Ashby Funeral Home in Benton, Arkansas. A funeral service is scheduled at 2:00 p.m. Monday at Northside Church of Christ. Internment will be at New Rosemont Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial gifts be made to the Southern Christian Home in Morrilton, Arkansas, one of Mr. Garrett’s favorites.
On-line guest book at www.ashbyfuneralhome.com .