MURRAY, Ky. — Services for James E. Garrison, 86, who died Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011, will be at 10 a.m. today at First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Bob Saywell and Jim Stahler officiating.
Burial will follow at Murray City Cemetery under the direction of J.H. Churchill Funeral Home of Murray, Ky.
Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until service time today at the church.
Mr. Garrison was born July 5, 1924, Pontotoc but moved to Murray in 1956 and spent the remainder of his life as a Calloway County resident.
He served in the 379th Bomb Squadron of the 425th Bomb Group at Kimbolton, England during World War II. He then attended Mississippi State University and graduated in 1949 with a degree in dairy engineering. He moved to Murray in 1956 with his family and was associated with what was the Ryan Milk Company.
Mr. Garrison served as president of the Murray Airport Board, Murray Industrial Foundation, Murray Rotary Club, Murray Calloway County Hospital Board, First United Methodist Church Administrative Board and Chamber of Commerce. He also chaired the Mayor’s Murray Cable Commission and the Industrial Track Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the Executive Team at the Bank of Murray and was selected Murray’s Man of the Year in 1960.
He assumed the leadership of Ryan Milk Company and grew this to a large nationally recognized enterprise. Under his leadership, the company became affiliated with the National All-Jersey organization. Mr. Garrison served on the National All-Jersey Organization Board for many years. Later, as the market changed, Mr. Garrison led the transition of the dairy into General Dairy Service, which produced an Ultra High Temperature pasteurized or extended shelf life product as well as the distribution of cottage cheese, sour cream and later coffee creamers to all 50 states.
As an alumnus of Mississippi State University, he was honored for his contributions when in 1990 he was named an Alumni Fellow of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and in 1997 was chosen the National Alumnus of the Year.
The James E. Garrison Sensory Evaluation Laboratory at Mississippi State’s Department of Food Science and Technology is named in his honor.
He was also very supportive of Murray State University, his “adopted” college and received an honorary degree there in 2000.
He established the James E. Garrison Scholarship at Murray State to support student education and has been a strong Murray State supporter since moving to Murray.
Mr. Garrison was preceded in death by his wife, Edith Archer Garrison; a grandson, William Houston Garrison; and his sister, Peggy Garrison Hester.
Survivors include two daughters, Beth Johnson and her husband, Dr. Mike of Owensboro, Ky. and Nancy Garrison of Natchez; one son, David and wife, Sylvia of Murray; five grandchildren, J. Andrew Johnson and wife, Libby and Dr. Matt Johnson, all of Owensboro, Walter Garrison and wife, Cecelia of Henderson, Ky., Rachel Corinne Garrison and Sarah Kathryn Garrison, both of Louisville, Ky.; and three great-grandchildren.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to: Murray State University, Office of Development, Jim Garrison Scholarship, 106 Development Center, Murray, KY 42071; Mississippi State University Foundation, James E. Garrison Dairy Scholarship, P.O. Box 6149, Mississippi State, MS 39762; or First United Methodist Church, 503 Maple St., Murray, KY 42071.
Online condolences may be sent to: www.thejhchurchillfuneralhome.com