Lou Ann Garrett of Amarillo passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 15, 2023.
Services will be at 4 pm on Thursday, October 19, 2023, at First Christian Church with Brett Coe, senior minister, officiating. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors. Lou Ann will be buried at 2 pm on Friday, October 20, 2023, at Fairlawn Cemetery in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Lou Ann was born December 22, 1941, in Oklahoma City, the first of four children and the only daughter of Helen Hough Roach and Tom Roach. She played violin starting in the fourth grade and continued playing through high school at Harding, serving as assistant concertmaster of her orchestra her senior year. Lou Ann also excelled academically during high school and spent her first year of college at Grinnell, where she played in the orchestra. She likely would have graduated from Grinnell, but her dad tightened the purse strings. So, she moved closer to home to complete her degree in English at the University of Oklahoma in 1963. While at OU, Lou Ann was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, which she continued to support throughout her life.
In college, Lou Ann was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which was addressed primarily surgically. That surgery robbed her of a significant amount of muscle tissue around the right side of her neck. Few will ever appreciate the perseverance and strength of will it took her to navigate life without the physical tools we all use to simply stabilize our heads. Lou Ann never complained.
She met Doug Garrett, the love of her life, at the Baptist Student Union on OU’s campus in 1962. Doug was studying mechanical engineering and graduated in 1963.
After graduating, Lou Ann started teaching high-school journalism and English in Oklahoma City. She and Doug carried on a long-distance relationship until they married on November 26, 1966, and she joined him in Amarillo.
In Amarillo, Lou Ann began working as a reporter and staff writer for the (then) Amarillo Globe-Times. She held that job until having children beginning in 1972. Once her boys were older, and she had begun to recover from the trials and tribulations of raising them, Lou Ann went back to work for a variety of different employers, including Girl Scouts of the USA, Amarillo College, the YMCA, and DB&A Advertising. She also taught English as a substitute at local Amarillo high schools.
Lou Ann was a loyal friend to many, loved catching up, and rarely forgot a fact. She was a brilliant conversationalist and an exceptional writer and editor. Lou Ann was also deeply religious. She loved the Lord and all her friends at First Christian Church, where she taught Sunday school during the 1970s and 80s.
Lou Ann believed in civic engagement. She held several leadership positions within the Amarillo League of Women Voters, including president, and was an active member for decades. She handled publicity for the Amarillo Women’s Network, was the recording secretary for the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame (PSHOF) for five years and a PSHOF committee member for twenty-three, and was a member of Panhandle Professional Writers for five years. Lou Ann was a member of the Amarillo Historical Preservation Foundation for many years and counseled and supported abused women at an Amarillo shelter. She was also a long-time supporter of the Amarillo Museum of Art.
Lou Ann’s consistent, long-term volunteer efforts were felt far and wide. They also received recognition. The Amarillo Council of Beta Sigma Phi, an international Women’s friendship network, named Lou Ann as the sorority’s 2012-13 Woman of the Year. And in 2019, the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame honored her with its Service Award.
Lou Ann was loved and will be dearly missed by many, not the least of which are her husband, children, grandchildren (in whom she constantly delighted), brothers, and extended family. Survivors include Doug, her husband of nearly 57 years; her son Mark Garrett and his wife, Emma, of Austin, Texas, and their children, Sarah and Ben; her son Scott Garrett and his wife, Dr. Nicole Corrigan-Garrett, of Frisco, Texas, and their children, Luke and Claire; her brother Robert Roach and his wife, Holly, of Yardley, Pennsylvania and their children, Andrew Roach, Emily Roach, and Sally Gadea; her brother Tom Roach and his wife, Fran, of Oklahoma City; and her brother John Roach and his wife, Linda, of Oklahoma City, and their children, Dr. Carolanne Roach and Daniel Roach.
The family encourages donations in Lou Ann’s memory to the charity of your choice. Any flower donations may be directed to Boxwell Brothers, where come-and-go viewing will be held from 12 to 8 pm on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, and until 2 pm on Thursday prior to the service.
To view the livestream of the service please use this link: youtube.com/@fccamarillo