February 19, 1931 ~ November 30, 2020
Thomas Rayburn Garrett, Jr., age 89, passed away on November 30, 2020 at Wilshire at Lakewood Care center in Lee’s Summit, MO. Due to Covid-19, a visitation and memorial service will be held at a later date. A private family internment, with military honors, will be conducted at the Veterans Cemetery in Higginsville, MO at a later date (Cremation).
Tom was born February 19, 1931 in Belgrade, MO to Thomas R. and Thelma G. Garrett who preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his younger brother, Ronald Garrett of Cape Fair, MO.
He grew up and attended high school and Junior College in Flat River (now Park Hills) MO.
He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, spending three tours of duty in the Far East, including two years in Naval Amphibious Units as an assault boat coxswain, and two years aboard the USS Washburn.
Tom earned his BS degree in education, with a biological science major, and his Masters degree in Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri – Columbia, plus advanced studies in Psychology at UMKC, California State University in Sacramento, and California State University in Los Angeles, The Humanistic Psychology Institute, San Francisco, and Michigan State University.
After receiving his State License as a Psychologist, he had a part time private practice in Raytown for many years, where he specialized in hypnotherapy, deep relaxation methodology, stress management, and family and marriage counseling.
Tom moved from the St. Louis area to Lee’s Summit in 1959 with his wife, Delores (Dee) and infant son, Kevin (and later his daughter Kimberly) to create and develop the Counseling and Guidance Program for the Lee’s Summit R-VII School District.
After seven years with the District he worked as a counselor, administrator, and psychology instructor with the Metropolitan Community College District of Kansas City, MO, retiring from Longview Community College in 1989. He and his first wife, Dee, went their separate ways in 1975. He was remarried in June 1996 to Sondra Stone (Sonnie) and they lived happily ever after!
After retirement, Tom enjoyed fishing, boating, and landscaping at his two lake front homes at Raintree Lake. He was very handy and would tackle almost any project. He was very giving and supportive and helped anyone with any need. He loved to travel and he and Sonnie made several sailing trips to the Caribbean Islands and one extended vacation to Australia and New Zealand.
He was active in volunteer activities in the Lee’s Summit area. He delivered Meals on Wheels for many years. In the late 90’s he acquired 70+ used bicycles and refurbished them and donated them to Lee’s Summit Social Services so children could have a bike for Christmas. He still received calls many years later from folks who wanted to donate used bikes to him!
He expressed his deep faith by attending Lee’s Summit United Methodist Church, Grace UMC, and Aldersgate UMC during his many years in Lee’s Summit.
He had heart surgery and a stroke in 2013, which slowed him down a bit, but he always remained positive and kept on keeping on! Sonnie took good care of him at home, but declining health in recent years required more care and he moved to Wilshire at Lakewood Care Center in February 2019, where he lived out his days.
Tom is survived by his loving wife of 24 ½ years, Sondra Stone Garrett of Lee’s Summit; son Kevin P. Garrett and wife Bernadette of Las Vegas, NV; daughter Kimberly S. Waters and husband Paul, of Paola, KS; sister Janet S. Garrett of Sun City, AZ; grandchildren Hannah Mathews of Lee’s Summit; Luke Mathews and fiancé Brittney Ramsey and great-grandson Jaxton Thomas Mathews of Holden, MO; step granddaughter Brooke Clark and husband Daniel, their daughters, Brystal and Delaney Jo of Bates City, MO; Delores “Dee” Holmes, of Las Vegas, NV, former wife, good friend, and mother of his children; his step daughter, Julie Stone and her children Cole and Sarah of Greenwood, MO; and step son Darrin Stone and wife, Emily, and their children, Ethan, Elliott, and Aubrey of Harrisonville, MO.
Tom often expressed that those times when he felt most pride and fulfillment were at the births and accomplishments of his son and daughter, and his grandchildren, and when he wore the uniform while serving his country. He often expressed a most grateful attitude for, “the countless privileges, blessings, and opportunities” he enjoyed during a “full and productive life.”
The family requests in lieu of flowers, memorials be made in his name to Lee’s Summit Social Services, The Salvation Army, City Union Mission, or charity of choice.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Wilshire and Ascend Hospice for their hard work and excellent care in attending to his needs in Tom’s final months.
(Arrangements: Langsford Funeral Home, 115 SW 3rdSt, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063 (816) 524-3700).