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Shirley Helen Martin Garison

Shirley Helen Martin Garison, 96, passed away peacefully at home November 6, 2021, the end of an era blessed by God.  She was born July 1925 in Louisville KY, the oldest child of Helen and Ted Martin.  The family moved to El Dorado, AR when she was a young child.  She had many friends from El Dorado, including a group of friends from Kindergarten.  They called themselves “The Six Pack”.  They had many reunions, and kept up with each other’s families all of their lives.  She graduated from El Dorado High School, attended Stephens College, then transferred to Northwestern University, with a major in English and minor in Speech. She was a member of the Tri Delta sorority.


Shirley married the love of her life, Jim Garison, November 1946.  They were married for sixty-six years and were blessed with four children. Her life was devoted to her family and her faith.  She was a gifted homemaker and involved in the community.  She was an active member of The First United Methodist Church. She taught Adult Sunday school and loved singing, joining the church choir late in life.  Shirley loved to cook and entertain with her family and close friends.  She was involved with PTA during her children’s school years, the South Arkansas Art Center, The Junior League of El Dorado, and The Pierian Club.


Shirley enjoyed nature, biking, hiking and snow skiing in Colorado, and dancing with Jim.  She loved to travel with her family and friends, and enjoyed playing bridge.  Her passion was spending time with family at their special place in Montana, and Christmas in Colorado.


She was “a Lady” in the true sense of the word.  She was gracious and caring, and she adored her family.  Her grandchildren and great grandchildren call her Nana. We recall a familiar phrase used by our Mother and Daddy, “May the wind be always at your back, and Christ in your Heart”.


Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Jim Garison, her parents Helen and Ted Martin, sisters: Marilyn Stutts and Patty Lou Dillaha, brother: Ted Martin, and son-in-law David Kiernan. She is survived by her two daughters: Carol Kiernan of Little Rock, and Suzanne Garison, Julie Fees, of Snowmass Village CO; two sons: Jim (Jerri) Garison of Richardson TX and Andy (Kay) Garison of Little Rock; grandson Andrew (Hannah) Garison and great granddaughters Chloe and Ella; granddaughter Rebecca (Taylor) Denniston and great grandson Davis; other relatives and friends.


The family wishes to thank Leola Brown for decades of loving and devoted service and caregiving, John Hay for his many years of service and friendship, and caregivers: Jo Ann Bright, Terry Jamerson, Willie Bridges, Kay Tolbert, Lois Moses and Sue Jenkins for their tender, loving care.  We also thank Life Touch Hospice for their wonderful care of our Mother, and The First United Methodist Church, Fellowship of The Sent Friends, and Minister David Bush.


The family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 5 pm to 6:30 pm at Young's Funeral Directors.


Funeral services will be at 1 pm, Thursday, November 11, 2021at First United Methodist Church El Dorado with Dr. David Bush officiating. Interment will follow at Arlington Memorial Park by Young's Funeral Directors.


Our family expresses gratitude for acts of kindness in our time of sorrow.  In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to The First United Methodist Church, 201 S Hill Avenue, El Dorado Arkansas 71730; Life Touch Hospice, 2301 Champagnolle Road, El Dorado Arkansas 71730.


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