Mary K. Garrison
Mary Sadie Kerby Garrison passed away peacefully on March 18th, her 58th wedding anniversary, surrounded by her loving husband and family after a lengthy battle with cancer. She had a full, exciting life and was dearly loved by all who knew her. She was born November 11, 1928, to Mike and Sadie Kerby in Columbus, Mississippi. She graduated with honors from Stephen E. Lee High School in Columbus where she was active in many school activities, including playing trumpet in the school band and performing as a drum majorette. She was a member of high school sorority Delta Beta Sigma where she was voted “Friendliest Girl.” She was known as the best dancer in town and taught many a young man in Columbus how to dance using her 78 rpm record player. Mary attended Mississippi State College for Women where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1950. Mary was a popular student who loved to attend the many social events, dances, and football games at nearby Mississippi State. She established the Mary K. Garrison Scholarship Fund at the Mississippi State College for Women to help young Mississippians attend college. During college she met the love of her life, Ulas Edwin Garrison, on a blind date. They dated throughout college and were married on March 18, 1951 in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Columbus, MS. Together for more than 60 years, they embarked on a life together filled with adventure, laughter, and an abundance of love. Following college she worked for the Social Security Administration before she and Ed moved to Alabama. They subsequently relocated to Brigham City, Utah in 1958 and stayed there for 20 years during Ed’s career with Thiokol Corp. She made many wonderful friends in Utah and during this time played in her cherished bridge club—which is still going strong after 50 years. While in Utah, she enjoyed skiing and took up the game of golf, which she played beautifully and enjoyed throughout her life. Subsequent moves took them to Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and in 1986 back to Ogden, Utah. Their many close friends and great experiences there made Utah their adopted home state. Mary and Ed donated the Choral Room at Weber State University in Ogden to give back to the Utah arts community. Mary was a supportive and caring wife who played a pivotal role in Ed’s successful career as an aerospace executive. Ed and Mary travelled extensively and she was always at ease with and thrilled to meet many people along the way, including captains of industry, political figures and celebrities. Although she had many responsibilities as the wife of a corporate executive, her family came first and she devoted herself completely to her three children with great love and caring. Following Ed’s retirement in 1993, Ed and Mary split their time between Ogden, Utah and Scottsdale, Arizona, where they built a home at the Boulders Club. In Utah she was active in the Ogden Golf & Country Club ladies golf group and a member of the Chareya Club. At the Boulders Club she played in the ladies golf group and was active in the bridge group. Mary and Ed are also members of the Estancia Club in Scottsdale. Mary made many fantastic friends in Arizona and she cherished her time there, particularly playing golf with Ed. She was a lifelong and devout member of the Episcopal Church and she and Ed donated the Education Hall at her beloved Church of the Good Shepherd in Ogden, Utah. The hall will be dedicated next year in her honor. Mary had a larger than life presence and her entrance would light up any room. She loved people and always had a kind word and a smile for anyone she met. Dancing was her favorite passion and no matter the time or the place she was always ready for a jitterbug with Ed. Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Mike and Sadie Kerby, her sister Samis Kerby, and her brother Mike Kerby, Jr. and survived by her sister Leah Kerby of Columbus, Mississippi. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Ed Garrison, who lovingly cared for her over the past year during her fight with cancer. She is also survived by her children, Dr. Thomas E. Garrison of Ogden, Utah, Gina Young (James) of Lake Bluff, Illinois, and Michael J. Garrison of Austin, Texas; her grandchildren Benjamin Garrison (Camille) of Johannesburg, South Africa, Jonathan Garrison of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Wesley Young, Alyssa Young, and Sheridan Young of Lake Bluff, Illinois. She was most proud of her children and grandchildren and always delighted in sharing news of their activities and accomplishments with her friends. She leaves behind many friends and family who will miss her greatly for her big smile, warm heart, and special Southern hospitality. The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Dr. Paul M. Magtibay of the Mayo Hospital in Phoenix for his kindness and caring throughout her illness as well as the wonderful staff of Hospice of the Valley. Services will be held at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Ogden, Utah on Sunday 22 March at 3 pm. Burial service will follow in Columbus, MS. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the charity of your choice in honor of Mary K. Garrison.