Lou Ann Garrett

Lou Ann Garrett
Lou Ann Garrett

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

13 Replies to “Lou Ann Garrett”

  1. An unforgettable lady! I knew her when she came to my house with Doug swinging her beautiful ponytail to interview my sister and I for the newspaper about the Double Dip. She thought that we would be “in the know” since we went to Amarillo High School. I have known Lou Ann and Doug through my family since I was a teenager, so I really grew up with them in my life, I stayed at Doug’s and Lou Anns house as I produced the steel bells and tables that I make. Lou Ann was always interested in the fabrication process and would come out to watch whenever she could…always cheering me on and being verbal advertisement for me and my art form, as a sister. Later, on warm days, she would come out to the shop in her wheelchair and sit in the warm sun and watch whatever I happened to be working on. She loved Doug, her boys, grandchildren, and daughter in laws deeply. She was the best proofreader and critique of my writing! …how wonderful to have someone so dear help me write it correctly. Her last years were painful years, physically, but I never heard her complain, not once. She went about her normal day as best she could and when that became harder and harder, we all pitched in and made things right for Lou Ann….beauty shop, Christmas shopping, Christmas wrapping and mailing…She never forgot anyone nor their name. I will be forever grateful for her love and her undying enthusiasm for whatever I happened to be doing. She enriched my life by just being Lou Ann and I will miss her. Rest In Peace Lou Ann

  2. I’m so sorry that we lost Lou Ann! She was a great lady! I’m sorry, also, that I missed her funeral! God bless her whole family!

  3. What a delightful and wonderful woman. We met many years ago through many organizations including the Amarillo Women’s Network. She was so steadfast in her beliefs and her family life, a true role model for so many women. I will miss her lovely smile and sense of humor.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about Lou Ann. I had lots of good conversations with her after Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame meetings. For many years, she was an important part of that organization. And nobody could have been more gracious.

  5. Lou Ann was the person I sought out when i wanted to have a delightful, inspiring conversation. She was keenly interested in our lives and our families. She was knowledgeable about so many aspects of our community and gave her wholehearted support to the league and other organizations that improved our community.
    My sincere condolences to her family.

  6. I first met Lou Ann in 1972at a League of Women Voters meeting just after I moved here from St. Louis. She knew everything about the League and was a constant source of information and corrections. There was never a set of minutes that Lou Ann didn’t have a correction for. She was never wrong about her corrections, however.

    She was the face of the LWV for many years and it won’t seem right without her around. We have sorely missed her these past two years.

    She reminded me recently that I had been in the League 50 years because when she first met me she had just had her first child.

    I will never forget her and her gracious manner and her fine mind. She was one in a thousand. Rest in peace my friend.

    Claudia Stravato

  7. Lou Ann was a class act. My husband and I worked with her often as she handled publicity for various groups. With her newspaper background, she handed in copy that was accurate and complete. The breadth of her involvement in our community was enthusiastic and amazing. It was a privilege to work with her.
    Cathy Martindale and Dave Wohlfarth.

  8. I had the privilege to work with Lou Ann on the board of League of Women Voters. No one could write a better news release!! I loved her passion and devotion to every task she took on. And she could tell a good story! Grateful that God allowed our paths to cross. Looking forward to seeing her again one day.

  9. So sorry to hear of the passing of a great lady, a wonderful neighbor, and founding member of the Plemons-Eakle Neighborhood Association. Lou Ann will be missed.

  10. I met Lou Ann not long after I moved to Amarillo. I am the morning show host on High Plains Public Radio, and she was an on-air guest promoting the latest Voters Guide for an upcoming election, as she was the head of the League of Women Voters . Her spirit was so striking to me that I still consider her my favorite guest ever, even after 8 years on the air. She had the vibes of the nun who taught me yo read in 1st grade — patient and wise. Her kindness, focus, and dedication inspired me to get involved in local service organizations. Years later, I met Sonya Letson, also joining me on air to promote voter registration as the head of the League—and she had the same incredible energy as Lou Ann, filled with a joy for life and keen sense of civic duty. It was then that I finally joined the League, citing Lou Ann as a bright light that made me want to be part of what they do. And now, Lou Ann is gone, and the loss feels profound. She did so much for so many for so long. But I sense that her spirit will stay strong amongst everyone she encountered through her volunteer work. Lou Ann was just so cool and made me want to be better, do more, and stay hopeful. Without her dedication to a healthy democracy, I wouldn’t have the League in my life. And now I’m the League’s co-president, taking the baton from Sonya. Lou Ann changed my life and I’m so grateful to have known her. She also altered how I understood this city after having just moved here: “If someone that delightful, smart, and tenacious about making the world a better place lives here, there must be others.” And there are. (I bet most of them knew Lou Ann too. ) I send love and support to her huge family during this painful adjustment. Thank you, Lou Ann, for being a bright memory for me, a life-altering inspiration , and FOREVER my favorite guest on “High Plains Morning.” —Jenny Inzerillo

  11. Oh Lou Ann you will be missed! She was so proud of her family! Prayers and comfort to you all! What an amazing friend and mentor! Lou Ann was unfailingly kind to me and my family. Met her in Amarillo Women’s Network and later when I joined First Christian Church of Amarillo and she and Virginia Light taught me how to be a Sunday School teacher. They made it look so easy! What a neat lady! So glad I was blessed to know and love her!

  12. Oh Doug, my brothers and I are so sad to hear you’ve lost the love of your life. Lou Ann is such an amazing woman and we have such fond memories of her. Her passing is felt deeply, but knowing she is with our Lord just makes us more eager to be with Him also. We love you Doug, Wade Brock, Dan Brock, and Donna Craven

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