Gerald Meredith Garmon, of Carrollton, died from Alzheimer’s disease on January 6, 2015. He was 82. Dr. Garmon was born August 2, 1932 in Washington, DC, the third child and second son of Orion Meredith Garmon and Flora Hatch Garmon.
He graduated from John Marshall High School in Richmond, Virginia and attended the University of Richmond, receiving both bachelor’s and master’s degrees with a major in English.
He married Mary Lucille Burnett in 1956. They had a son, Steven Meredith Garmon, born 1959, and a daughter, Alizon Margaret Garmon, born 1963.
Gerald began doctoral studies at the University of Virginia, then taught at North Carolina Wesleyan College, before completing his Ph.D. at Auburn University. He moved to Carrollton in 1967 to join the English Department faculty of what was then West Georgia College, where he taught for 29 years before retiring in 1996.
In addition to teaching an estimated 300 English classes over his career, he was instrumental in reviving the Georgia-South Carolina College English Association, organized several Tolkien symposia at Modern Language Association meetings, organized a conference, “The Word and World of Discovery,” in 1992, and was active with the American Association of University Professors, the West Georgia chapter of which he served as president. He authored a biography of the American poet, journalist, and editor, John Reuben Thompson (Twayne, 1979), and his dissertation, Tragic Realism in English Literature, was published (Peter Lang, 1988).
Jerry, as he was known, was active in the Carrollton Optimist Club for over 40 years, serving as the club’s newsletter editor, director of its annual Oratorical Contest, and twice serving terms as president. He was active with Common Cause and served as secretary of the Georgia chapter. He was a founding board member of the West Georgia Credit Union, later absorbed into the Southern Credit Union. He served as president of the West Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. He enjoyed playing tennis and golf, and was for several years a coach of youth baseball and football teams. Raised as a Baptist, he became a Unitarian Universalist in adulthood. He is remembered as a man of humor and sharp wit and of deep conviction in the values represented by the institutions he served.
He was preceded in death by his parents and by his brother, Wilton Ellis Garmon, and his sister, Laura Lee Thompson. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lucille, son Steven, daughter Alizon, six grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
A memorial service will be held Friday, January 23, 2015 at 11 a.m. at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Carrollton, GA.
Expressions of condolences may be left at www.almonfuneralhome.com. Those wishing to make memorial donations can give to ChildFund International, P.O. Box 26511, Richmond, VA 23286-8818 or the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, 34 Washington St., Wellesley Hills, MA 02481. (http://curealz.org/sites/default/files/DonateByMail_DownloadForm_R4.pdf for donation form).