William A. Garrett, a 65-year resident of Westchester and World War II veteran, passed away Monday, Feb. 28. He was 91.
Garrett was born Nov. 22, 1919 in Pensacola, Fla. to Samuel A. and Margaret Letitia (Stegall) Garrett.
He spent his formative years in Florida, eventually landing a position as electrician’s apprentice at the U.S. Naval Airstation in Pensacola. At the onset of U.S involvement in World War II, Garrett volunteered for special duty at Pearl Harbor, providing his expertise in wiring control systems for 40 millimeter anti-aircraft and 5-inch dual purpose guns for installation on U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and other ships.
Among many other civilian shipyard technicians, he helped prepare the USS Enterprise for its crucial role in the Battle of Midway. After completing his civilian tour of duty at Pearl Harbor, Garrett enlisted in the Navy and served for the duration of the war, receiving his discharge while stationed on Okinawa.
Upon returning stateside, Garrett married his sweetheart, Phyllis Wey of Terre Haute, Ind., and the couple settled in Westchester in 1946.
Garrett earned his associate degree in management from Santa Monica City College and went on to serve as an administrator at the California Museum of Science and Industry in Exposition Park as well as at the California Department of Transportation in Los Angeles. He retired after 32 years of service to the state of California.
Garrett was a member of the Westchester Masonic Lodge, the Scottish Rite, Al Malaikah Shrine, and the Westchester/Playa del Rey Elks Lodge.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Phyllis; his son Mark, of Westchester; his daughter Sherri Jeremiah and son-in-law Jim, of San Diego; granddaughter Renee Newman and her husband Mark, of Baltimore, MD; grandsons, Chad and Lance Jeremiah, both of San Diego; and great-grandson Micah Newman.
Garrett was always there to lend a helping hand, and will be sorely missed by his family and many friends whose lives he enriched with his grace and good humor.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Paralyzed Veterans of America or the Disabled Veterans of America.