Tom Royce Garrett, 85, of Rochester died Wednesday, June 9, 2021, surrounded by family at St Mary’s Hospital in Rochester.
He was born in Franklin, NE on November 13, 1935, to Francis Marie (Harwood) and Clifford Lee Garrett They moved around some but settled back in Franklin where he graduated from High School in 1954. Tom was a natural athlete and played football, basketball, baseball, and track. After graduation, he went to Hastings College in Hastings, NE where he also played football. While there, he met and married Jacquelyn Ann (Lang) Garrett on September 1, 1957. After graduating from college, Tom, Jacque, and their new daughter moved to MN where he would enter the Mayo Clinic School of Physical Therapy program. A son joined the family in 1961.
After graduation, he was hired as an instructor at the PT school and was a respected educator, making many friends along the way. He loved teaching and continued until his retirement in 1998. He achieved the academic appointment level of assistant professor of Physical Therapy in the Mayo Clinic School of Health Related Sciences. He was the Associate Director from 1986-1998. He was honored to be a representative at both the MN and Nat’l APTA. He was also a representative on the MN State Medical Advisory Board of Physical Therapy.
Tom was a member of Sertoma 700, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, and the Republican Party.
Tom grew up tinkering with cars and that remained a lifelong passion culminating with the showing of his 1946 Chevy Sedan Delivery “Purple Pride” at area car shows. He was a diehard Vikings fan and rarely missed a game. As an avid hunter, he made annual trips to Nebraska and South Dakota to bird hunt. He also hunted white tail deer, elk, and antelope in several other states. Hunting and fishing in Alaska were one of the favorite trips. He rarely missed a fishing opener and fished the Mississippi regularly.
Summers found Tom and Jacque boating, camping, and water skiing on the river. They enjoyed hosting parties at the river, at the cabin in Wabasha, or hog roasts at their hobby farm in Rochester. Sometimes surprise guests might show up, “Jeremiah Josky & Miss Jacque”.
Tom loved all genres of music and shared that with his children and grandchildren, as well as his other passions. He enjoyed watching their sports, and their school and church programs. He loved having them come to the farm so he could teach them what he knew.
Tom is survived by his daughter, Christine Garrett Kern; daughter-in-law, Teresa Monson Garrett; grand and great-grandchildren, Chelsamarie Garrett Kern (Brian Mix), Christopher Wm Kern, Heather Jacquelyn Garrett, Branden Alan Monson, Aynslea Jacquelyn Kern, Tyler Brian Mix, Arian, Gabby, and Joey Monson.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife, Jacque and son, Michael Lee Garrett.
The Memorial Gathering will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 18, 2021 in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home in Rochester, MN. Private interment will be held at a later date.
Special thanks and appreciation to the staff at Weatherstone Senior Living and St Croix and Mayo Hospice.
When asked what he would like put in his obit, he responded, “Tell them the old man died”.
Online condolences are welcome at www.mackenfuneralhome.com.