WILSON — On April 27, 2018, Jerry Ray “Jug” Garrett went to meet his Lord at the age of 63, surrounded by his loving family. Jug was born on Feb. 12, 1955, to Margie Ruth Clayton Garrett and Leonard Silas Garrett in Ardmore. Funeral Services, under the care and direction of Alexander Funeral Home of Wilson, will be held on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at the Wilson School Gymnasium at 2:00 p.m., officiated by Rev. Paul Collins and assisted by Rev. Leroy Holman and Rev. Jason Williams. Interment will follow at Hewitt Cemetery.
Jug was raised in Wilson along with his brother, Tommy and five sisters: Patsy, Debby, Peggy, Sally, and Tammy. He graduated from Wilson High School in 1973. He was always proud of his small town upbringing, and considered himself an Eagle for life.
He did, however, leave his small town to attend college. He graduated with an associate’s degree from Murray State College, a bachelor’s degree in education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and a master’s degree in education administration from East Central University. His career in education began with coaching and teaching in Mannsville, Wilson, and Turner Schools. He eventually moved into school administration when he became the elementary principal at Wilson. After a three-year stint there, he took a principal job at Velma-Alma Elementary. At Velma he served as elementary principal for two years, high school principal for one year, and school superintendent for 16 years. His final two years as a superintendent, before his retirement in 2015, were at Turner School. Jug certainly had a successful career in education, especially when measured by the many life-long relationships he made and the students he helped and influenced. He was always popular with students and parents alike. He never met a stranger and truly made life fun for those around him.
In 1973, he met the love of his life, Deanne Jean Higgins, during his first day of college orientation. The story goes that he told a buddy that he was going to marry that girl some day, and five years later, he did just that. Jug could never be accused of being too “mushy,” so true to form, he never confirmed nor denied that story. On June 3, 2018, they would have celebrated their 40th anniversary. Together they raised two sons, Jerry Ray Garrett II, and John T. Garrett. He considered the years of raising his boys in his adopted community of Velma to be the best days of his life. He was proud of his boys and his daughter-in-law, Carmen Garrett. The biggest blessings in life, however, were his four grandchildren: Crue, Saylar, Ryder, and Olivia. In his eyes they were the cutest, smartest, fastest, funniest, most athletic kids around. He enjoyed informing all that would listen of these facts.
Jug loved spending time with family and friends while fishing, hunting, and camping. He especially enjoyed teaching his grandkids to fish or play basketball and t-ball and baseball. His favorite times were spent on the golf course with his boys, grandson, and friends. He could never get enough of coaching his grandson, Crue, and his friends. To the 7th grade class at Velma-Alma, Jug is known as “coach” or mostly, “PaPa Jug.” Jug invested so much of his life into the students at Velma-Alma, and he will always be V-A’s biggest Comet fan.
Jug accepted Jesus Christ as his savior in April of 1979. He had a very child-like faith, and in the last few years of his life, he was often heard saying, “It’s all about Jesus.” He believed in simply pointing others to Jesus, and he wanted Jesus to get the glory. He always tried to live out his faith by how he treated others. Being a humble man, he never wanted praise or accolades. At the end of his life, his deepest desire was for all of his family and friends to know Jesus as their savior.
Jug was preceded in death by his parents, Margie and Leonard, his grandparents: John T. and Berniece Clayton and Jess and Susie Garrett. He was also preceded in death by his special grandmother-in-law, Opal Sykes.
Jug is survived by his wife, Deanne Garrett, of the home, his son Jerry Garrett II and his children, Crue and Saylar of Duncan, his son John T. Garrett and his wife Carmen and their children, Ryder and Olivia of Lone Grove. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Tommy and Ruby Garrett of Ardmore, his sister Patsy Emerson and her husband Leon of Wilson, his sister Debby Garrett of Wilson, his sister Peggy Eaves and her husband Roy of Marlow, his sister Sally Mitchell and husband Doug of Madill, his sister Tammy McArthur and her husband Jim of Lone Grove, his father-in-law and mother-in-law, John and Ernestine Jeter, his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Kelly and Larry Greathouse of Ardmore, His brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Jimmy Jeter of South Carolina and John and Laveda Higgins of Ardmore, Lora Way of California and Bobby Higgins of Covina, Calif., his aunts, Betty Jo Daniel of Tishomingo and Mary Hightower of Stratford, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Pallbearers will be Mike Sudderth, Mike Thompson, Rick Brown, Bill Harden, David Shores, and Kenny Bare. Honorary Bearers will be The Wilson Class of ‘73, Terry Cox, Leslie Hacker, Jimmy Nichols, James Layne, Tom Upshaw, and all nephews and nieces.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jug Garrett Memorial Scholarship Fund, established at First National Bank of Ardmore, Lone Grove, and Velma. Please mail donations to 1302 7th St. Wilson, OK 73463. Visitation for family and friends will be held on Monday, April 30, 2018, at Alexander Funeral Home in Wilson from 6 to 8 p.m.
Online condolences may be made to www.alexanderfuneralhome.org.