ARTHUR FLOYD GARRISON EULOGY

by: Ronald Floyd Garrison

My Intro

Good Afternoon, for those of you that don’t know me I am Art & Darlene’s oldest son Ronald and I am up here because I have the distinct honor of presenting my Father’s Eulogy.

Prayer

I know we are all grieving this great loss so please join with me in prayer, if you can all please bow your heads:

Heavenly Father, I pray for Garrison Family and others in their circle of family and friends who are grieving...

They're hurting for many reasons, and I ask You to help them through this season of loss. I reach out to You, the Father of compassion and the Source of every comfort, asking You to touch them with Your unfailing love and kindness. Be their God who comforts them as they're going through their struggles, and bring them through the tough things ahead. Come alongside them in their pain, and strengthen them so they'll one day be able to help others who face the same struggles.

When they're hurting, help them find their joy in You, for it's Your joy that will be their strength. Help them to trust You as their God of hope. Fill them with Your joy, peace, and hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Help them experience the love, joy, and peace that are the results of His life in them, no matter what they're going through.

May they sense Your presence in this hour of need. In Jesus' name, Amen.

INTRODUCTION

A famous writer once said “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give”.  If that is true, then Arthur Floyd Garrison made a great life. He was the most giving man I’ve ever known.  And judging from the nodding heads I see in front of me, it seems that many of you agree.  Art was always willing to help a friend, family or neighbor, MR FIX-IT as most people knew him.

EARLY LIFE

Art was born Arthur Floyd Garrison on August 19, 1941 in Gary Indiana.  He was the child of John Garrison and Margaret Ellen Jarosz of Lake Station.

SCHOOLING AND WORK

Art went to River Forrest High School and was in the very first Graduating Class of the school.  School the administration asked the students to come up with a mascot for the school.  Art being the artist he was took to coming up with one that all the students could be proud of.  He drew the Joe Magarac a legendary Steel Worker, he drew Joe pouring an Ingot the Schools Mascot still used to this day.

Upon graduating he joined the United States Navy on August 1, 1960 he served as a Lithographer on the USS Independence Aircraft Carrier, he received his Honorable discharge on July 31, 1966.  Upon coming home he started as a Machinist at United States Steel Corporation on July 29, 1965 he worked at US Steel for 35 years and 9 months retiring on April 30, 2001.  During his time at US Steel he served as a griever for local 1014 Steelworkers Union.  During his time at US Steel he was an avid Golfer and with the expertise of his youngest son Scott; they acquired 14 trophy’s in the Mechanical Services Golf Leagues, 7 of those being 1st place in the league, to say the other guys never liked seeing the Garrison boys was a slight understatement.

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY

Art was a friend John Hutman; Darlene’s brother thru their friendship Art met Darlene Alice Harrill and they married on March 27, 1964. Eventually they had 2 children, Ronald Floyd, and Scott Arthur.  This year, they celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary.

He was a very proud Papa, being the Grandfather of Bryan, Zachary and Nathan he loved to spend time with the boys and when he was able he taught them to fish and how to use tools or just walk around in the yard with them.

HOBBIES AND SERVICE

For a long time Art enjoyed playing guitar, often you would find him sitting in his office just picking away at different songs.  He even wrote a song, dedicated to the love of his life; I feel it only fitting to read you that song to further understand Arthur and what their love meant to him, it is entitled This Woman, my Wife.

When I consider our Love and our life

I wonder and question, this woman my wife.

What better, what worse, If not for me?

Happy, or sadder, and what would I be?

Why is she here, why did she pick me?

Did she understand, my emptiness, my need?

Or simply just wanted the same as just me.

 

Through life’s busy paces

Through loves many faces

Dreaming not living

For what life isn’t giving

Ageing, not growing

Living not going.

But happy just knowing

Her love still glowing.

My partner in life,

This woman my wife

 

As I said Art was an avid Golfer when he was still able; he was on the course 5 to 6 days a week.  He also enjoyed fishing and gardening.  In years past he was a member of the Boot Hill Softball teams and enjoyed playing every week.  To say Art liked to shoot pool would be like saying a bird likes to fly.  Art played in the pool leagues for years his knowledge of physics and measurements defiantly helped as he would run the table on the best of them.

He took on Tim the Toolman’s philosophy of Home Improvement, MORE POWER and MORE is BETTER.  If plans called for 2 screws or bolts then of course 5 was better.

To say Art was a brilliant man would be an understatement even when his memory and health started to fail he had to use a walker and one day at the house he was driving us crazy saying something was wrong with the walker it wasn’t lined up correctly.  We just didn’t see what he did, he made me bring in the micrometer and measure it, sure enough he was right the one side was 3/32s off.  Now I am not sure if you know but 3/32s is about the thickness of a greeting card, yet this man could tell that with his naked eye.

He was also a chess master, why do I say master; let me put it to you this way when electronic chess games first started coming out, we bought one for dad.  Within 24 hours he had beat ever level of the game.  We contacted the company and they said that was impossible.  They had us send them the game, they downloaded all of the information and for the next 3 years sent him all of their games before they released them to the public, just to make sure they weren’t too easy.

Art was a very proud freemason for the past 27 years.  Art petitioned Dunes Lodge 741 he was Initiated as an Entered apprentice on October 16, 1991, he was passed to the degree of Fellow craft on November 13, 1991 and he was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on January 29, 1992.  He became a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason on October 14, 1995.  He transferred to M. L. McClelland 357 on June 6, 2002.  Dad had often asked me about joining the fraternity, but I wasn’t ready, that was until one June day in 2008; he was so excited but his lodge was dark at the time, he called his brother Joe who said that’s ok Art I know a guy.  They took my petition over to Jim Ritz past Master of Griffith who signed it right away, dad was present on August 12, 2008 when I was Initiated as an Entered apprentice.  He was there for all of my degrees but probably his proudest Masonic day was on Friday December 13, 2014 when he was present for me being installed as Worshipful Master of Griffith Masonic Lodge.

MEMORIES

I had asked a few people for memories to include today

Jerry Bacon had this to say Uncle Art and Aunt Dar took me to great America with you guys.  Uncle Art talked me into going on the demon with him.  I was about 11 years old.  I was scared to death.  As we topped the top of the demon I looked forward and seen two loops God only knows how many twists, and all I could say was Ohhh Shit !!!  I looked up at Uncle Art thinking I am going to be in big trouble.  He started laughing and held on to me the whole ride.  Uncle Art was just one of the heroes in our family.  I learned so much from him.


John Perez said: My favorite part of your dad is he was a loving man and always welcomed me as his own.  A very strong man to look up too. Love him and all of you guys. You guys are family.


With deep regrets that I am unable to attend and properly honor this man. I pray this bit of correspondence will suffice.

I was introduced to Art Garrison some 10 years ago through his brother Joe. They approached me to request a Lodge petition for Art's son Ron. After a brief conversation I asked why he needed me since he was himself a long time Mason in good standing. Art explained that he had heard many good things about Griffith Lodge and he considered it a great honor to have the signature of a Past Master next to his own on his son's petition, and with that I obliged.

I often visited with Art and Dar at various Lodge, as well as, Garrison Family functions and he rarely missed the chance to attend an annual golf outing. I always found him to be an outstanding representative for Masonry, all bodies appended to it, and Mankind as a whole.

This patriarchal man was also an excellent ambassador for the Garrison Family. The sword has now been laid down, to be picked up by the next generation and carry on in his stead. His mark on this world is certainly indelible.

Let us all take a little piece of this kind man and emulate his integrity in all we do from here forward.

I for one am proud to call Art Garrison my friend and Brother.

Love, Jim Ritz


Bonnie Bacon had this to say: What comes to mind is the time I was a belly dancer for Art and when I clicked those clackers I accidentally clicked his nipple.  Or when he came to the bar and got a hold of a water gun and acted like those things in a carnival running up and down the bar shooting the people then run in the bathroom fill the gun up and start over again.


Memories

At this time we would like to open the floor up if any of you have any memories you would like to share of Arthur please come forward and share them with all of us

SUMMING UP

I have had two heroes in my life and they were brothers Joe went 7 years ago and now Dad.  Now I could stand here and tell you my father was a patient man; but I have recently given my life back to Christ and I would be afraid of the Lightning Bolt that would surely come down.  Dad had a fuse about this long!  It never failed when we would be working on something it would all go terribly wrong; it was during these times that I learned the meaning of the old saying “Cussing Like a Sailor” but no matter how many four and five letters words it took, we would always get the job done.

There are so many things my father taught me over the years; the most important would be honor.  He was proud of the Garrison Name and all that is stood for he would often say we as a whole are judged by what any one of us does, therefore we should all strive to be upright before God & Man.  He also taught me at a very young age the importance of doing a job right the first time, he always said be a jack of all trades but a master of none.  He believed in going the extra mile and making sure things were done to the best of your ability.  I have often thought, if I can be just half the man my father was then I have something to be proud of.

What sort of scares me is I know Dad & Uncle Joe at this very moment are tipping back a few beers on the 19th hole while waiting for Dad & Wayne’s next tee time.

In closing I want to leave you with a short poem often read at Masonic Services, the very first time I heard it I thought of my father and made a mental note if I was able I would present it to honor him at his funeral.

The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak

at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on the tombstone

from the beginning…to the end.

 

He noted that first came the date of birth

and spoke the following date with tears,

but he said what mattered most of all

was the dash between those years.

 

For that dash represents all the time

that they spent alive on earth.

And now only those who loved them

know what that little line is worth.

 

For it matters not, how much we own,

the cars…the house…the cash.

What matters is how we live and love

and how we spend our dash.

 

So, think about this long and hard.

Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left

that can still be rearranged.

 

If we could just slow down enough

to consider what’s true and real

and always try to understand

the way other people feel.

 

And be less quick to anger

and show appreciation more

and love the people in our lives

like we’ve never loved before.

 

If we treat each other with respect

and more often wear a smile,

remembering that this special dash

might only last a little while.

 

So, when your eulogy is being read,

with your life’s actions to rehash…

would you be proud of the things they say

about how you spent YOUR dash?