George Byrne Garrett
Friday, October 31, 2008
5:00 PM until 7:00 PM
Westbrook Funeral Home
404 West Dewitt Henry Drive
Beebe, AR 72012
Saturday, November 1, 2008
First United Methodist Church
302 Main St.
Beebe, AR 72012
|Dr. George Byrne Garrett, 74, of Beebe, Arkansas, died October 29, 2008, after several years of battling Alzheimer's disease. Byrne was a loving husband, a great father, an incredible grandfather and a friend to all. He lived his whole life in Beebe where his great-grandfather had been one of the town’s founders.
He was born February 26, 1934 in Beebe, Arkansas when Main Street was still gravel and you did not need an appointment at his father and grandfather’s dental office. He graduated Beebe High School in 1952. He then attended the University of Mississippi followed by Baylor University Dental School.
During his senior year of dental school a recruiter signed him up for the military upon graduation. Byrne understood the recruiter to say he could be stationed in Ft. Worth or Shreveport, but when his orders arrived they read APO 670, NY, NY. Byrne served in the United States Air Force in Goosebay, Labrador – a long way from the South and with weather conditions that he did not care for.
Byrne joined his father in the Garrett Dental practice in 1960 and became an active part of Beebe. Through the years he served on the Beebe City Council, Beebe School Board, and the Board of Directors of Citizens Bank. He was active in many other community and civic affairs. He also served on the Board of the Arkansas Sheriff’s Boys and Girls Ranches, and for many years did the children’s dental work.
When the Beebe Schools started its new band and the need for uniforms to perform became evident, Byrne put together an event, “Serendipity” that was a night to remember. The entire school and the community got involved and Beebe raised $10,000 for uniforms in one night. There was a live auction that night that included the privilege of shaving not only Byrne’s beard but also his head.
Never afraid to express his opinion, somehow he got started writing a column for the Beebe News. The column called “Tongue in Hand” wished everyone a happy birthday for that week and then gave his ideas about how the city and the schools should be run or it might be about someone’s wedding; just whatever he was thinking about at the time.
He loved to go quail hunting with his friends. They hunted in Antioch, north Arkansas, Missouri or anywhere else they could go.
Byrne was a lifetime member of the Beebe First United Methodist Church and was always there. In fact, most of his life was lived within a block of the church. He served the church as a trustee, Sunday school teacher and was always available when the youth needed him. From being the youth director to chaperoning mission trips to Mexico, Byrne loved working with the youth.
There was a time when you would see him training for the marathons he ran in Arkansas and Texas. Later he slowed down to riding around Beebe in his little red Volkswagen bug. He loved life to its fullest and most of all he loved Beebe and his family.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Amanda Garrett Schieffler, his parents, James Hugh “Doc” and Elizabeth Byrne “Libbo” Garrett, and his brother, James Hugh Garrett, Jr.
Byrne is survived by his wife, Sandra Dumas Garrett; his daughter, Gibson Garrett; his son, Dumas Garrett and his wife Tori; and his grandchildren, Victoria, Rachel and Ned Garrett, all of Little Rock and Jackson and Sydney Ann Schieffler of West Helena. He is also survived by many cousins, other relatives and many, many friends.
The family will receive friends Friday, October 31, 2008 at Westbrook Funeral Home, 404 West Dewitt Henry Drive, Beebe, AR from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. A service to celebrate Byrne’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 1, 2008, at Beebe First United Methodist Church, 302 Main Street, Beebe, AR. The Rev. Roger Hook, pastor, will officiate. There will be a reception after the service at the church. Following the service, Byrne will be cremated and his ashes interred in Beebe Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Byrne’s name for Beebe First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 247, Beebe, AR 72012.