OBITUARY

Robert William Garrett

December 1, 1934July 2, 2019
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Robert William Garrett, 84, of Columbia passed away on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, at his home with his wife of 61 years and other relatives nearby.

Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at Memorial Funeral Home. There will be a time of visitation at the funeral home following the service. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery and will be private for the family.

Robert was born on December 1, 1934 in Columbia to Lee O. and Ethel Coats Garrett, who preceded him in death. He was a graduate of Hickman High School and graduated from the University of Missouri in 1957 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an Air Force commission. He then worked at the Bureau of Reclamation in Denver as an E.E. until May 1958 when he was called up for active duty in the Air Force.

Robert and his high school sweetheart, Leslie Flynn of Columbia, were married on June 14, 1958 at the Harlingen Air Force Base chapel in Texas where he was assigned. During the next 5 years he and Leslie lived in Harlingen and Biloxi, MS, and spent 3 years at Yakota AFB, Japan where Robert served as an Electronic Warfare Officer/Navigator. In 1963 they moved to the Cape Kennedy, FL area where Robert worked as an AF Operations Research Analyst.

Robert later worked for System Development Corp. in FL, DC, and CA before moving to the Washington DC area where they lived for the next 19 years in MD and VA. In 1972 he was hired by the US House of Representatives to manage the checkout and operation of the original Electronic Voting System for the House. He subsequently managed the development and operation of all the computer systems that supported the legislative process of the House of Representatives until his retirement in 1990. He designed and installed the drivers for the main displays showing Member Votes.

In 1991 Robert and Leslie returned to Columbia to help his widowed father who was in frail health. He was active in retirement, volunteering as a tax aide and Counselor for the AARP-TAX AIDE from 1993-2012 and was also a volunteer at the Boone Hospital Center and a frequent blood and platelet donor for the Red Cross. He was a prior President of the Show-Me Cosmo Club and a life member of the Mizzou Alumni Association.

Robert brightened the lives of his friends and family with his sense of humor and creativity. Robert and Leslie enjoyed traveling together and visited 49 states and 10 countries, additionally Robert was in other countries during his Air Force years. He will be missed by many, especially his cherished wife and family members.

Robert is survived by his wife Leslie, and two of Leslie’s three siblings whom he counted as his own, having known them since they were ages 2 to 12. They are Matt Flynn and wife Judith of Kansas City, and Tim Flynn and wife Jane of Columbia. Other survivors include four nieces and two nephews, and one uncle Russell Coats of Columbia, plus many cousins. His beloved sister-in-law Michael Elizabeth Flynn-Basler preceded him in death in November 2018, but her husband Jerry Basler will be with the family.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, your local Humane Society, or to the choice of the donor.

  • FAMILY

  • Leslie Garrett, Wife
  • Matt Flynn, Brother-in-law
  • Judith Flynn, Sister-in-law
  • Tim Flynn, Brother-in-law
  • Jane Flynn, Sister-in-law
  • Russell Coats, Uncle
  • Jerry Basler, Brother-in-law
  • DONATIONS

  • Salvation Army, your local Humane Society, or to the choice of the donor

Services

  • Celebration of Life Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Memories

Robert William Garrett

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Matthew Yingling

July 10, 2019

Mr.Garrett was a cheerful man and brightened many life as a hospital volunteer. He would always make people feel a little better with his stories and smile. You will be missed.

Patty Dow

July 6, 2019

Just want to say how much Bob meant to our family. We had the honor and privilege to live across the street from Bob and Leslie for 18 years. They were Grandparents to our children, Tyler and Tiffany, filling in for many “Grandparent” events. We were blessed to have them in our lives. Bob had a wit about him that made you smile even when life was tough! Bob cannot be replaced and will be forever in our hearts. 😍
Much Love,
Patty and David Dow

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