OBITUARY: Mark Kenton Garrett

Mark Kenton Garrett

Funeral services will be Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 2:30 PM at Dickson First United Methodist Church with Ed White officiating. Place of rest will be in the Dickson County Memorial Gardens. Visitation with the family will be Saturday, September 18th from 12 to 2 PM at Taylor Funeral Home. The family has asked that donations be made to First United Methodist Church or the First United Methodist Church Music program in Dickson. Pallbearers will be Chris Greene, Alex Spann, Scott Lee, Stephen Moore, Steven Lee, Parker Lee, Michael Meise, and Andrew Moore. MASKS ARE REQUIRED.

Mark Garrett, age 65, of Dickson, TN died Sept. 15, 2021.

Born on July 12, 1956, he was a graduate of Dickson County High School, Dickson Area Vocational School and attended Belmont University and Austin Peay University (majoring in Music Education and Guitar Performance) for four years when, in the third worse decision of his life, decided to leave six weeks before graduating to pursue his love of electronics, but which ultimately led to his interesting career opportunities which earned him a living. He had a long and varied career in the Electronics/Computer/Communication industries, beginning at NCR in Nashville, TN, Southeastern Telecom in Nashville, TN, and the Florida Department of Transportation.

He was a Guitar Instructor for Mary’s Music in Dickson TN, Guitar Center in Omaha, NE, Renaissance Center in Dickson, TN, and also taught privately in his home. He served as a Music Minister for many years including Fairfield Baptist Church in Centerville, TN, Pomona Baptist Church in Dickson, TN, and New Prospect Baptist Church in Chipley, FL. He worked for a while as a weekend disc jockey at a local radio station in Marianna, FL where he was trained to have a “radio voice” and delighted in giving the weather report each day in such an elaborate way that listeners were convinced he had an entire weather radar system when in actuality he was reading the report off the Weather Channel.

In a completely different career move, he served as Assistant Dairy Manager for the Kroger company at the corner of Nolensville Road and Old Hickory Blvd where he was known as “Milk Dud” and wherein the greatest night of his work history the cooling system broke down in the refrigerated section and all of the canned biscuits began exploding one right after the other. One of the great loves of his life was coffee, only exceeded by his love for the Lord, his “beautiful bride,” and his guitars. He inhaled coffee to the tune of eight cups a day, and every brand was his absolute favorite as long as it was on sale. He loved to cook, and he loved to eat, especially in restaurants, and every meal that he was served was the best that he ever put in his mouth.

He was an enthusiast of game shows, and often regaled others with the story of when he recorded Wheel of Fortune, watched it until he had the answers memorized, then played it for friends as if it were presently showing. He then amazed the others in the room with his uncanny ability to guess the phrase before anyone bought a vowel much less a consonant. He loved feeding the birds and was very knowledgeable on bird identification. He loved growing Moss Roses and diligently harvested their tiny, tiny seeds each year to start them the following year. He enjoyed planting other varieties of flower seeds except for the year in 2018 when he carefully prepared the ground, broadcast the seed, covered it with much diligence – only to sit back and watch a chipmunk devour every seed in the space of two minutes. That day was as memorable as the day when the biscuit cans exploded. He carefully worked out a system of doing the laundry which still baffles his wife to this day. He analyzed the water level, the spin factor, and rigged the washing machine so that no one could use it anymore – except himself – which suited his wife.

As a musician, he diligently practiced each day and thought all his students should too. He could tell within one minute of the start of the lesson if they had or had not. He especially insisted that scales be learned frontward, backwards, and upside down, and did not understand why others did not love scales as much as he did. He heard music in his head all day long and heard chords in the sounds of train whistles and ceiling fans. He often jumped up in the middle of the night to record music fragments in his head before he forgot them. He knew every hymn by memory and every hymn was his favorite, although he did confess privately to his wife that often the hymn “Just As I Am” filled him with dread especially when he often heard the following phrase as a music minister: “Just one more verse, Brother Mark!” He prayed many a revival night for someone, anyone, to just come on down to the altar after the sixteenth verse.

He insisted on good manners at all times, and to say “Please” and “Thank you” was as important as breathing. He filled the rooms with music, he filled his soul with laughter, and he never delayed a “Mystery Date” with his beloved wife, Kathy. She occasionally let him drive her Red Car which gave him much joy. He shook every bit of life out of each day, he found the funny and made the funny. He had no time for drama and pettiness. He lived the moment and loved the moment. In the end, he believed that we should love God, love each other, do good, be kind, extend grace to all, and as previously stated – practice the scales every day.

Leaving behind to mourn his absence is his “beautiful bride,” Kathy Mitchell Garrett; his beloved daughters, Lyndsay (Andrew) Cooper of Leonardtown, MD, Allison (Jessie) Barber of Mayfield, KY, and Elisabeth Amber Garrett of Omaha, NE; two brothers, Glen Garrett (Stephanie) of Waynesville, NC, Clark Garrett, Dickson, TN; and a sister, Rose Jenkins (Jim) of Dundas, VA; six grandchildren -Teagan, Bexley, Jordan, Kade, Reid, and Sebastian – sister-in-law, Melanie (David)Gunter; two stepsons, David Jones of Thompson Station, TN, Eric Jones (Kelsey) of Hermitage, TN; two step-grandchildren, Elijah Jones, and Luke Jones; and his stepmother, Betty Garrett of Burns, TN. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Garrett and Dorothy Garrett.

He was an active member of First United Methodist Church in Dickson, where he served as Lay Leader, and participated in the Sanctuary Choir, and Handbell Choir. For a few years, he was also a member of the Dickson Community Choir and was a Reader for the “Vespers and all that Jazz” Sunday night service at the Scarritt-Bennett Center.

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