Life Story / Obituary
William Robert "Bill" Garrett, 84, of Grandville, Michigan, passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 25, 2023. Born on April 17, 1939, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Bill was a beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend to many.
Bill was an avid sportsman who loved fishing, hunting, and SCUBA diving. He found great joy in officiating sports and was particularly involved with the West Michigan Volleyball Officials Association. His dedication and passion for sports were evident throughout his life.
Bill is survived by his five children: Denise Germer (Bruce), Pam Garrett (Ed Hodges), Robert Garrett (Cate Lamkin), Katherine McLucas (Wes), and Kim Sawyer (Jon). He was a loving grandfather to Ashley Samuels, Sophia Germer, Ian Garrett, and Lydia Deicla. Bill also was great-grandfather to Bennett and Carson.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Lucille (Wilmarth) Garrett, his wife Patricia Folkertsma, and his siblings Roger, Walter, Lois, and Peggy.
Bill graduated from Creston High School in Grand Rapids and George Williams College in Chicago where he furthered his knowledge and passion for physical education.
Throughout his career, Bill made a significant impact in various roles. He served as the Physical Education Director at the Grand Rapids downtown YMCA and served as the Camp Director at YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin. Additionally, Bill dedicated 33 years as a Sales Representative for Packaging Corporation of America and as a SCUBA instructor for 22 years at YMCAs in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan.
During his free time, Bill enjoyed sport fishing from the port of Manistee to Montana and Belize. He hunted with The Buck and Brush Club near Reed city and on trips to Colorado. He also made many canoe trips to the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area of Minnesota and Ontario. These hobbies allowed him to connect with nature and create lasting memories.
A memorial service to honor Bill's life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the charity of your choice in Bill's memory.
Bill Garrett will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched. May his memory be a source of comfort and inspiration to all who knew him.