A Eulogy for Charles Garrett
From His Son, Vaughan
Greetings family and extended family
In 1966 when I was two, and for the following few years, I sat with my Dad and watched Mission Impossible with him. The company was fledgling at the time. This was my early bonding time with him. That time with Dad seemed to suggest that the impossible could be possible. His dream, or mission, of being the best metal detector company in the world was possible. I can look back now and say Mission Accomplished, Dad!
Helping. Two years ago, sitting on the edge of his bed with him when he couldn’t walk anymore, he wanted to help customers. Even while talking in circles with me, he still expressed that he cared for the customer, each and every one. He mentally wanted to help, but physically couldn’t. I said, “We have great employees who will take care of our customers. It’s okay, Dad.”
Giving. A year short of his death he said he wished to buy everyone in the family a new car. Nice gesture. I said, “Sure, Dad.” Actually, back in the 80s he did buy everyone in the family new cars. Thanks, Dad.
He gave far and above the typical tithe to his church, which God blessed him back multifold with staggering success. Thanks, Dad.
He gave me radios. Ones that I could listen to a distant 100 kilowatt WLS radio station in Chicago and hear the cool late 60s music scene as it happened. Thanks, Dad.
He and my mother encouraged and funded my education, so I could learn and do better and get that bachelor’s. Thanks, Mom and Dad.
Engaging. He got me hooked on Dr. Peppers and Reese’s. Thanks, Dad. He brought products and ideas home to share with us. He asked us to name detectors. It wasn’t easy. Back then I suggested Mini-Max, but he never cared for it. I realized later that it wasn’t descriptive enough. I tried naming products with no luck until eight years ago when I named the Pro-Pointer, and now it has become a series. Thanks for approving the name, Dad.
Traveling. He swept me away to teach me the ways of his business, to numerous countries and most of the states. I witnessed the master treasure hunter. Thanks, Dad.
Loving. He was there most of the time for me. And even when I wasn’t there, he was there for me, like when I was 16, I got my Plymouth Duster stuck in the mud and left it! It was around midnight on a Friday night. I walked home a mile away and told my Mom and went on to bed. The next morning, Saturday, by the time I woke up, he had already got my car back to the house. Thanks, Dad.
Saving lives. The incredible metal detector found its way into the protection of humans. Untold lives have been saved by these devices. We are a safer world due to metal detectors. Thanks, Dad.
Sports. Such pleasure his metal detectors bring to the treasure hunter, the joy of discovery! Treasures of the world, at reach with a Garrett. Discovery of a family activity that bonds families, and fathers, daughters, and sons. Priceless treasures. Thanks, Dad.
Patriot. He gave four years of himself to the US Navy. And now Dad, Anchors Aweigh. He loved the United States so much that he pledged to make our products here in the United States. Thanks, Dad.
Christian. He loved our religious freedom to worship God freely. He did so at the Church of Christ, and in his walk. Dad was a solid, devoted, Christian man. And he read the Bible at night before bed, every night. Dad and Mom showed me the Christian way, and I became one. Thanks, Mom and Dad.
During his last week on Earth, Tuesday, his blood pressure fell and his heart rate was 8 beats per minute. My Mom was there at the time and oxygen was rushed in. His legs were blue. She began praying that the Lord might let him live to his birthday, which was the following day, April 1st. Within moments his heart rate shot to a stable 120 beats per minute, breathing was fully restored, and his legs returned to skin color. He made it to his 83rd birthday, all right. We were all there to sing Happy Birthday. Then on the evening of April 2nd, his breathing stopped for 20 seconds. Then suddenly it came back. The next day came, April 3rd, Good Friday. Five hours into the new morning he peacefully let out his last breath in his sleep and entered the afterlife.
What a striking tie for my father to pass away on the same calendar day that Christ died on the cross. Think it was just happenstance? Could the man who invented and supported the product that saves lives and combats evil have something in common with Jesus? It seems rather fitting that this man, of all men, was chosen to share Good Friday with Christ. As we Christians know, Jesus ascended to the Father in heaven. In like manner, so did Charles Garrett. It was a Good Friday, and it will now have an even more profound meaning. Thanks, Dad.
On Easter evening at my home as the sun set, with my family and Mom out in the driveway, we saw my dad’s birthday balloons inside her car. She asked if my kids wanted them and I said, “How about let’s send them to heaven?” As we released them, I said, “You left your birthday balloons behind, so we’re sending them to you, Dad! I love you.”
And on Monday night following Easter, I had a dream. I was in my childhood family living room, and I saw a SuperScanner on TV. In my dream I called out, “Mom and Dad, come quickly!” Mom entered the room first, then Dad came in. He looked great, and perfected. I knew he shouldn’t be there for he had passed away, but yet he seemed so real, as did the dream, so I reached out and gave him a hug, and he embraced me with a warm loving hug that felt completely reassuring, and that everything was OK. I then left the room into the hall and thought that I would love one more hug. So I turned around and went back into the living room, and there he was. He gave me one more wonderful hug.