Martha Janssen Garrison died on Dec. 7 at her home in North Carolina at the age of 99. She was born in Grand Rapids, Mich. On Sept. 11, 1915, and grew up in Chicago, Ill. from the age of six.
Martha first earned her degree from the Sherwood Conservatory of Music in Chicago, followed by a master’s degree in education from Marshall University in Huntington, W.V. Many are the students, in the family and without, who have reaped the benefits of her lifelong love of music and teaching.
In 1941 Martha relocated to Seattle, Wash. where she married Lionel “Gary” Garrison while he served as Lt. Commander aboard the USS Colorado in the South Pacific. Following the end of WWII, they lived on the mainland United States until moving to St. Croix in 1965.
She taught music in the St. Croix public school system from 1965-1975, initially at Christiansted High School, which later became Central High School. She was a founding member of the American Federation of Teachers Union while at Central High School. She was one of the earliest supporters of Island Center, a member of the Business and Professional Women’s Organization, as well as a member of the St. Croix Botanical Garden.
In 1983 she and Lionel moved to western N.C., first to Asheville and ultimately to Columbus, where she resided until her death. She was predeceased by Lionel on Jan. 13, 2011.
Martha is survived by their children: Lionel Garrison Jr. of Englewood, N.J.; Edward Garrison of the Navajo Nation, Ariz.; and Marty Bressi and Joanna Isherwood of St. Croix. Additionally, she is survived by grandchildren: Tamara, Catherine and Christopher Garrison; Nanibaa’ (Garrison) Kim, Bijiibaa’ and Ed Garrison; Francesca Bressi; Raelyn (Isherwood) Lau, and Brian and Tyler Isherwood. She is also survived by great-grandchildren: Malachi Lau, and Abigail, Aubrey, and Liam Garrison (children of Ed Garrison).
A private memorial service will be held at a future date in N.C.
- Visitors Center
- Classified Ads