Shirley Leon Garrison

June 3, 1919December 13, 2013
Play Tribute Movie

Shirley Leon Garrison was born in Detroit, Texas on June 3, 1919. He later moved to Idalou and graduated from Becton High School in 1936. He received his BS Degree in Agricultural Education from Texas Tech University in 1940 followed by 16 hours toward a Masters degree.

In July of 1941, Shirley married Mildred Welch and was employed as the Ag teacher for the new vocational agriculture program at Union Schools until he was called to serve for Uncle Sam in World War II. After the war, he spent two years in a post-war program of food distribution and agricultural rehabilitation in Europe.

He returned to the South Plains and became involved in farming at Idalou, and eventually settled in the Easter community south of Hereford. He also served as a teacher for the USDA Returning Veterans Agriculture Program during this time. Mr. Garrison later started producing seed and formed the Garrison Seed Company in 1966. In addition to his farming operations, Shirley was involved in cattle feeding and became president of the Bar G Feed Yard in Summerfield, Texas in 1983. He was also involved in the banking industry. In 1987 he assumed the position as Chairman of the Board of First State Bank of Dimmitt. This Dimmitt bank became First United Bank which now has fourteen branches across the Plains area. He was chairman of the board until 2013.

Shirley has been a member of the Methodist Church for 80 years, having been baptized at age14 in a horse tank. He was recognized by the First Methodist Church in Hereford for having served in every available leadership capacity during his membership. He also served the Methodist church at the Conference level. He supported other projects in a Canyon, and McMurry University in Abilene. Since 2002, he has been a member of the Wolfforth United Methodist Church, Wolfforth. Philanthropy has been a very important part of his life, benefitting many educational institutions with direct support and students with scholarship support. These gifts have come through a Trust he and Mildred created at the Amarillo Area Foundation and through direct giving to a wide range of institutions such as West Texas A&M University ,Texas Tech University, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, McMurry University, Lubbock Christian University, and the All Saints School in Lubbock. He was also a strong supporter of agricultural heritage museums such as the American Agricultural Museum, and The American Wind Power Center in Lubbock.

He has received numerous honors and awards, such as Distinguished Service and Outstanding Leadership award from the Texas/New Mexico Sugar Beet Growers and Citizen of the Year and Agricultural Man of the Year from Deaf Smith Couty. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from McMurry University and an Honorary Doctor of Human Letters from Texas Tech University. He has been honored by Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center with a Spur Award for his philanthropy and Distinguished University Alumni and Agricultural Alumni awards. He was active in many agricultural and agribusiness organizations, as well as many civic organizations in Hart, Hereford, and Lubbock.

In 2006, he lost his wife of 65 years to Alzheimer's. Her illness led him to give a lead gift to the Sears Methodist Foundation to build The Mildred & Shirley L. Garrison Geriatric Education and Care Center which opened in 2002 in Lubbock. Mildred resided there until her death. He also founded the Garrison Institute on Aging at the Texas Tech Health Science Center, established a Chair for research into aging and funds a brain bank for use by researchers nationwide.

In 2007, he and LuCille Simons met as part of the “Forget Me Nots”, a support group for the spouses of Alzheimer’s patient in the Garrison Center. They married in June of 2007. They are members of the Wolfforth United Methodist Church. They have been active sports fans and are Red Raiders to the core.

Mr. Garrison is survived by his wife, LuCille Simons Garrison. And, by his three children and their spouses- Harvey Garrison and wife Joyce of Lubbock, Sharon Walker and her husband Bruce of Austin, Pamela Carrothers and her husband Bill of Horseshoe Bay; Five grand children, Kerry Garrison of Amarillo, Jana Garrison of Lubbock, Casey Carrothers of Lubbock, Collin Carrothers of Austin, and Shawn Walker of Austin; Five great-grand children, Erika Miller, Todd Miller, Kelsey Garrison, Molly Goebel and Jack Goebel; two nephews Kim Nelson and Larry Garrison; and four nieces, Ilene Hobgood, Trish Moore, Marihelen Willis, and Sara Alice Hart.

Visitation will be Tuesday December 17, 2013 in Resthaven Funeral Home from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. A funeral serice will be held Wednesday December 18 in Lakeridge Methodist at 11:00 am. A private burial will be in Resthaven Memorial Park.



  • Visitation Tuesday, December 17, 2013
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, December 18, 2013


  • Officiating

Shirley Leon Garrison

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Glenda Sullivan

December 10, 2014

Sihirley was my dad sister son!!!
My cousin, a wonderful person to all
God bless all !!!
Glenda Shirley sullivan

Brenda Gutierrez

January 2, 2014

Mr. G,
You are truly the most remarkable man I have ever met. Your words and your actions showed a determined man with a huge heart and great wisdom. I will always remember all you sacrificed on a daily basis for what you believed in and what you wanted to continue to accomplish. I will miss that big smile of yours and will remember what you said and will always be thankful for what you have done for Jessie & I You will always have a very special place in our hearts. Thank You Mr. G.

Margaret Boomer Oliver

January 1, 2014

Thoughts and prayers are with you. The Garrison family were wonderful friends to the Boomer family.

JOY Perez

December 26, 2013

Mr Garrison is going to missed by many.He is a very caring person.I'm glad I had the chance to get to know Mr Garrison while working at Garrison. such a wonderful person.may he rest in peace.Heaven has been bleesed with another special angel.

December 19, 2013

Thoughts and prayers for the Garrison Family. It was an honor and privelage to have known Mr. Garrison. He was a very humble man who always had a smile on his face. He will be missed greatly.

Stephanie Wood

December 19, 2013

I am so sad to hear this news. I had the privilege of meeting and talking with him when I worked at Garrison. He was such and kind and caring person! Thoughts and prayers for his friends and family.

Corky Swanson

December 19, 2013

So sorry to hear of Shirley's Death. He was a fantastic person and will be missed by everyone. I had the honor of working with him when I was Director of Financial Aid and truly say that he was magnificant person.
Corky Swanson

Brenda Snow

December 19, 2013

Sharon, Pam, Harvey, and Lucille,

Our hearts are heavy because we loved Shirley. May God give you His peace and comfort as you grieve, yet know that Shirley is continuing to bless so many as he has done all his life! Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you.
All our love,
Rosalee McGowen
Richard and Brenda Snow and girls

December 18, 2013

We were sad to hear of the passing of someone who was so influential in so many areas. Working with him on the McMurry board was a great experience. He was a tremendous inspiration and such an outstanding person.

Gary and Ann Finch
Dalhart, Texas

Ann Priddy Vargas

December 18, 2013

So sad to hear about your dad. He was a wonderful man, as well as your mom. I know it is a great day for them to be together again. And there are quite a few seedmen together again. My mom and dad have passed in the last 2 years also. Prayers going out to you today.