Celebrating the life of James Austin Garrison, Sr.
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Obituary for James Austin Garrison, Sr.
James Austin Garrison, Sr., was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 16, 1922 to Hope Adele Miller Garrison and James Carlton Garrison. He had an older brother, Carlton, eight years his senior. He attended the private St. Paul Academy and had regular experiences at various summer camps, the most memorable being the Rocky Mountain Boys Camp in Rocky Mountain National Park. After high school he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a year in 1942 until enlisting in the United States Coast Guard in November of 1942. After eight months as an enlisted man, he was accepted to the Coast Guard Academy in July of 1943 and was commissioned in June of 1947. He served with the Coast Guard coastal, ice and weather patrols on the Woonsocket, Modoc, Mendota and McCullouch until discharged as an Ensign in July of 1949 . Jim attended Columbia University for a year graduating with a BS in 1950 and was hired at prestigious all-boys Choate School in Massachusetts in 1951 as a teacher of math and sciences. He taught there until 1957. After working for many summers for Don Primrose with the Rocky Mountain Boys Camp, he and his partner, David Primrose, purchased the camp. He met Verla Lee Steffey square dancing in Estes Park, sold the boys camp to the YMCA Conference in 1956 and married Verla in July of 1957. He obtained a master’s in Basic Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1958 before moving to Colorado Springs. There he worked as a math teacher at Fountain Valley School in 58-59, and was hired with Vicon Instruments, a hearing aid company working there from 1959 until 1962 as a design engineer. Daughter Elizabeth was born in 1960 and son Austin arrived in 1961. He then worked with Maytronics, Inc. producing electronic spare parts for missile systems from 1962 to 1965. After a year with Young Life in Vancouver, BC in 1965, the family ended up in Fort Collins where Jim worked for Colorado State University at the Engineering Research Center in the wind engineering division. He retired from CSU after 20 years in 1986 following his divorce. He went to work for Sears in their automotive department as well as Western Camera putting in about ten years with each company. He moved to Loveland. He was active in his MCC church as an elder and Bible study leader for years. He participated and medaled in the Rocky Mountain Senior Games in the early 80s –swimming. Ultimately he moved into Hillcrest senior living in Loveland after his vision began to fail seriously and moved in Northglenn in 2013. He passed on January 19, 2015. He is survived by daughter, Elizabeth Lee Garrison Vigil, son James Austin Garrison, Jr., daughter-in-law Katherine Ann Smock Garrison, and grandchildren Benjamin Daniel Vigil, Timothy Austin Vigil, Esther Elizabeth Vigil, Barbara Michelle Garrison, Christine Elizabeth Garrison and James Austin Garrison, III. There is a video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNnZg2JbRNQ Graveside Services will be 11AM Friday, January 30, 2015 at Fort Logan National Cemetery, Staging Area 'A', Denver, Colorado with Military Honors.
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