Lucille Burnett Garmon Obituary

Lucille Burnett Garmon, of Carrollton, died on Sat Oct 17, 2015 following a battle with cancer. She was 79. Dr. Garmon was born 1936 Jul 1 in Johnstown, PA, the first-born child of Margaret Miller and Thomas E. Burnett.

Lucy graduated, class of ’53, from Warren County High School in Virginia and attended the University of Richmond, receiving both bachelor’s (1957, Phi Beta Kappa) and master’s (1960) degrees with a major in chemistry.

She married Gerald (Jerry) Meredith Garmon in 1956. They had a son, Steven Meredith Garmon, born 1959, and a daughter, Alizon Margaret Garmon, born 1963.

Lucy earned her PhD from the University of Virginia (1966) in physical chemistry. Dissertation: Formation and Epitaxy of Nickel Oxide on Nickel. Her career included service to: Virginia Institute for Scientific Research (research chemist, 1957–1961), East Carolina College (associate professor, 1964–1966), Auburn University Physics Dept (assistant professor / research associate, 1966–1968), West Georgia College Physics Dept (assistant professor, 1968–1973; associate professor, 1973–1978), West Georgia College Chemistry Dept (professor, 1978–2002; department chair, 1982–1995; part-time professor, 2002–2015; professor emerita, 2007–2015). Professional activity in committee service to the university and to the University System of Georgia, consulting, reviewing, offices held in professional organizations, grants received, publications, conference presentations, and supervision of student research was extensive.

The first third of her long career was dominated by research interests in materials science, electron microscopy, and crystallography. In the middle third she developed a special focus on the history and philosophy of science. The last third centered on chemistry pedagogy where she was a significant contributor to research and development of peer-led team learning approaches to undergraduate education in chemistry.

Lucy was active with a number of causes and organizations, most prominently the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Professors. In the LWV, she was a member of the Carrollton LWV for over 45 years during which she served multiple terms as chapter president (1973-76, 1982-84, 1992-94, 2002-04) and was the chapter treasurer at the time of her death. In the AAUP, she served a term as President of the WGC chapter (1982-83) and from 2011 until her death was treasurer of the AAUP Georgia conference.

Raised Lutheran, she, with Jerry, became Unitarian in 1959. From 1968 through the 1970s she was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta.

Lucy is remembered as extraordinarily devoted to helping others gain the empowerment of greater scientific understanding. She was driven by faith that the world could be made better through wider participation of an engaged and scientifically literate citizenry. The history of science, she well knew, like human history generally, is replete with missteps and the distortions of ego, yet science, more than any other endeavor, she believed, is ultimately self-correcting, continually teaches humility, and represents our best hope for expanding knowledge and, thereby, human freedom.

She is preceded in death by spouse Jerry, both parents, and a sibling, John Ira Burnett. She is survived by son Steven, daughter Alizon, six grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, and siblings Tobias Burnett and Gertrude Burnett Riley.

A memorial service will be held Fri Oct 30, 2015 at 2 p.m. at Almon Funeral Home in Carrollton, GA, with a reception to follow at St. Margaret’s Parish Hall.

Expressions of condolences may be left at www.almonfuneralhome.com. Lucy’s preferences for those wishing to make memorial donations are the University of West Georgia Foundation (http://www.giving.westga.edu), and the Unitarian Universalist Association (http://www.uua.org/giving).

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