Alice Anne Garrett passed away on July 11, 2020 in Panguitch, Utah, after enduring for many years, the long progression of memory loss. Alice Anne McQuary was born in Adams, Tennessee on August 25, 1928, with the impending Great Depression. Mom started life knowing financial hardship and quickly learned that life meant a lot of hard work.
During the Depression life was difficult, with a severe shortage of money. If something was needed you either grew it, made it, or hunted for it. Mom learned the lessons of cooking, sewing, gardening, and hunting early on. Her father, Pap, always wanted a hunting partner and he found it in Mom, who was the oldest of four children. She started hunting as soon as she was big enough to carry a rifle and was given a 22’ rifle at age ten. Mom became a dead shot with that little rifle.
The severity of the Depression forced the family to leave their cherished Tennessee and head to California with everything they owned packed in the car. Mom was 9 years old at the time. Pap found work putting in power lines to route power to Southern California, as a result the family moved with the construction crews and camped along with other families. Eventually they moved to a house in Kagel Canyon and this became the family home for many years to come. Life in Kagel Canyon led to a lifetime of friends for Mom.
Mom met Thomas H. Garrett in Kagel Canyon not long after he was discharged from the Coast Guard after serving in WWII. After a lengthy romance of two weeks, they were married on September 21, 1946. Mom and Dad moved to Acton, CA, and setup their household in an old schoolhouse built in 1890. The new home had a windmill to pump water, no electricity, a heated kitchen, a four-hole outhouse, and a luxurious laundry tub to bathe in located just inside the back door of the utility room. Not exactly a home for the rich and famous.
Mom and Dad did not have children during the first two years of marriage so Mom would bring her four-year-old little sister Fran up to stay. becoming a second Mother to Fran. Fran remembers the delicious doughnuts that Mom would deep fry on the old stove and having her bath in a wash tub on the floor of the kitchen.
In 1948 Mom and Dad started their family with 2 boys and 2 girls over a 6-year period. In 1957 they built a new home on property that they purchased across the riverbed from town. For the first time they had electricity, and an indoor bathroom. During this same time period Mom and Dad began raising foster children, providing a family life that many never had. Eventually they cared for over 20 children. The burden for care and feeding fell primarily on Mom who took it in stride.
Mom’s cooking skills were well known, and everyone loved her delicious Cracked Wheat rolls, wonderful cream puffs, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, chocolate potato cake, cobblers, pies, and a host of other special items. She was also capable of feeding a small army given the size of our dinner table. Nobody ever went hungry at her table.
Mom was an outstanding seamstress making most of our clothes while we were growing up. Quilting became a passion for her. Dozens of quilts were made for family and friends. Going into a new fabric store was for Mom like a candy shop for a child.
Always a presence at our grammar school, she became president of the Women’s Club. and later the first president of the Acton school PTA. Mom was a great organizer and kept the club focused on helping the children. The club funded, annual parties for the major holidays, vaccination clinics and a variety of other benefits.
After Dad retired from the high school district, they moved to Baldwin Park, CA and eventually to Grass Valley, CA after selling the property in Acton. Construction began on a new home in Grass Valley. Eventually the Grass Valley property was sold, and they moved again on to Buffalo WY after an interim stop in Mina NV. The home in Buffalo was constantly under construction! As Dad’s health began deteriorating and Mom’s memory began to fail, they moved first to Sequim WA, for a few years, and on to Panguitch UT. Mom has been a member of the Morman Church for over 40 years.
Mom’s youngest sister describes her as a combination of a Pioneer Woman, a Renaissance Woman and a Modern-Day Woman.
Mom leaves behind her two sons, Tym Garrett and Steve Garrett plus two daughters, Judy Escoto and Rose Iverson, foster sons Dave Ferruzzi and Gary Laurent. Additionally, there are 12 Grandchildren and more Great-grandchildren than I can remember.
The family is forever in debt to the Doctors, Nurses, and other staff members at Garfield Memorial Hospital for the wonderful care they have provided.
Given the Covid 19 problems a small graveside service will be held on 7/15/20 at the Panguitch Cemetery.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to The Red Rock Center for Independence at 435-673-7501 or (www.RRCI.org) in the name of Alice A. Garrett