GARRISON, Johnny Lynn

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John L. Garrison, 63, of Christiansburg, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, August 23, 2006, at his home surrounded by family and friends, after a battle with cancer.

John was born in Big Stone Gap, Virginia on December 30, 1942. A devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather, John was a member of the St. Paul United Methodist Church and has lived in the New River Valley the past 45 years. John graduated from Powell Valley High School in 1961.

A determined student, he graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in business, hitch hiking the long distance between home and college, and later earned a Master’s degree in high education administration. During his years of employment John worked at the Radford Arsenal, VA-MD School of Veterinary Medicine, Industrial Drives, and Virginia Tech, retiring in 1997.

John was called to serve others his entire life through his work and his hobbies. As a devoted human resources professional, John took a strong interest in employee welfare, and lent and empathetic ear to those around him. He enjoyed encouraging and nurturing others, and his gentle and indirect style helped many along the way.

One of John’s proudest achievements was his role in initiating the NRCC Adult Degree Satellite Program in Christiansburg and Blacksburg. He was a past president of the NRV Chapter of the American Society of Personnel Administrators and was active in several other professional societies. John opened his home to many friends of his daughters who were his friends also, and he was known to many as “Papa John.”

Some of John’s happiest times were spent playing with his children and grandchildren and he greatly enjoyed hosting friends at pig roasts and weekend getaways on his farm in Floyd. Throughout his life John enjoyed a wide range of hobbies: golfing, tennis, running, fishing, hunting, building his own cabin, boating, water skiing, gardening, cooking, and bird hunting with his dog, Reb.

He held dear his Native American heritage and was a member of the Southeast Cherokee Council, Inc. John was a member of the McDaniel Lodge #86 A.F. & A.M., Taylor Royal Arch chapter #70 and past Worthy Patron of Chapter #47, Order of the Eastern Star.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Stelma Garrison; his brother, Doug Garrison; and dear friends Dennis and Pamela Eavey. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Wanda Howell Garrison; two daughters and sons-in-law, Lynn Mullins and husband Robert of Christiansburg, Lisa Toti and husband Daniel of Roanoke; three grandchildren, Maria Jane Mullins, Leah Catherine Toti and Daniel Garrison Toti; brother, Bobby Garrison and wife Cammy of Gallatin, Tenn.; sister, Patty Garrison-Smith and husband Shirley of Davenport, Fla.; brothers and sisters-in-law, Jim and Joy Howell of Christiansburg, Va., Allen and Barbara Howell of Kingsport, Tenn.; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

The family would like to thank the caring medical staff at Carilion New River Valley Medical Center, the UVA Medical Center, Moser Radiation Therapy Center, Carilion NRV Hospice and our dear relatives and friends for their compassionate care and support during this time.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 25, 2006 at Horne Funeral Home in Christiansburg, with a Masonic Service following visitation. A memorial service will be conducted at St. Paul United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. Saturday, August 26, 2006.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Liver Disease Research Fund, ATTN: Stephen Caldwell, MD, HCC, UVA Health System, P.O. Box 800708, Charlottesville, Va. 22908-0708, or Carilion New River Valley Hospice, 707 Randolph Street, Suite 251, Radford, Va. 24141-2429.

The Garrison Family is being served by Horne Funeral & Cremation Service, Christiansburg, 540-382-2612. Online condolences may be sent by visiting