Obituary: Harry Ashley Garrett, 79, beloved father & retired media specialist/librarian, Seminole H.S. in Sanford

Born Feb. 17, 1934; died Jan. 11, 2014

Harry Ashley Garrett, deceased father of Ramara Garrett / Headline Surfer® / copyright NSB News LLCORLANDO – A gentle soul who wasn't afraid to challenge convential wisdom, Harry Garrett had two main pursuits in life besides his love of family: his career as a media/specialist librarian for two decades at Seminole High School in Sanford, Fla., until the mid-1990s, and a soft spot for animals of all kinds -- wild and domesticated.

Harry Ashley Garrett, 79, died Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at Halifax Health Hospice Center in Port Orange, Fla.,  where he had been staying since the previous Tuesday. He entered Florida Hospital the day after Christmas, losing a long battle with heart disease and other health complications.

Born on Feb. 17, 1934, Mr. Garrett was a lifelong Central Floridian who had resided in Orlando since the early 1970s. Aided by a high school teacher-mentor, he received a scholarship and graduated from Florida Southern College in nearby Lakeland.

For several years, Mr. Garrett worked in the Young Adult Department at Orlando Public Library, helping to develop a program considered “exemplary” by the then-U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. It included giving talks about books and the library at many junior and senior high schools in greater Orlando. The Young Adult Department also was the first department at the Orlando Public Library to include paperbacks.

Affter earning his Master's degree at Florida State University, Mr. Garrett became a media specialist/librarian at Seminole High School in Sanford, from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s.

Harry Garrett loved working with teenagers, and is no doubt, remembered by many thousands of young people who passed his way. His other passion was his love of animals. Wildlife and household pets alike benefited from his extraordinary affection.  

Harry Garrett loved working with teenagers, and is no doubt, remembered by many thousands of young people who passed his way. His other passion was his love of animals. Wildlife and household pets alike benefited from his extraordinary affection.  

Challenging status quo:

He was a gentle soul with a kind heart who often was at odds with typical social behavior. Whether a challenge or a mentor, he was always unique and memorable.

Harry Garrett loved to challenge the status quo, and he didn’t mind making you defend a tradition. If it didn’t fit, he’d be perfectly willing to create change. He was funny and eccentric, a constant defender of the underdog, the abused and the bullied. Mr. Garrett was a hard worker, but he knew kind words were often the most important need for the moment. And while he loved working as a high school librarian and had a soft spot for animals, neither were the equal of Harry Garrett's unconditional love for his family, especially his children and grandchildren.

Harry Garrett loved to challenge the status quo, and he didn’t mind making you defend a tradition. If it didn’t fit, he’d be perfectly willing to create change. He was funny and eccentric, a constant defender of the underdog, the abused and the bullied. Mr. Garrett was a hard worker, but he knew kind words were often the most important need for the moment. And while he loved working as a high school librarian and had a soft spot for animals, neither were the equal of Harry Garrett's unconditional love for his family, especially his children and grandchildren.

Survivors:

Mr. Garrett is survived by his son, Dal Anthony Garrett; and daughter, Ramara Mia Garrett, and his grandchildren. He's also survived by his ex-wife, Marilyn Garrett; and his sisters, Nora Hammill, Bertha Scalf and Cecile Harvey. He was pre-deceased by his brothers, Curtis, Ivey and Buck, and by his mother, Anna Hammac.

Following cremation, the family followed his wishes for no service and permanent residence under a rock next to a big tree in a peaceful natural setting.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the memorial fund being established at Seminole High School, or to Harry Garrett's two favorite charities, Defenders of Wildlife and Alley Cat Allies.

Remembrances:

Who knows the difference a caring teacher makes in the life of a student? To help celebrate his life, please share your experiences and thoughts about Harry Garrett on his Facebook page as he would wish you health and happiness.

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.