William Henry Garrison III passed away early this morning. He was at peace and not in any pain, for which we are so grateful. He is survived by his grandson and namesake who he loved more than anything, and Bj’s wife and future great grandchild who he lovingly called "Matilda". Grandpa was a great record keeper and upon looking through his personal health records we now know he was in a lot of pain for the last few years, even before his son died and he was moved to Oregon from California. His comments on certain days include: "lousy legs, my aching butt, busy day – my ass hurts, and lower back pain ouch!" to name a few. It’s just like grandpa to talk about his aches in this short, to the point way. We could not be happier that his last 36 hours were in his home with him in very little pain and hanging out with his family.

The Garrison Family History (Volume 1) has much more on this unique guy than I could ever write out but I thought I’d give you some highlights.

-Grandpa weighed 15 lbs 12 ounces at birth. I didn’t believe him until he showed me this article:
"Mr. and Mrs. William Garrison, 718 Vermont St. believe they possess the largest baby of its age that has been born in Quincy. The child, born Tuesday afternoon weighted 15 pounds and is a healthy normal baby. Dr. H. E. Becker, the family physician says that in his experience he never knew a child that weighted 15 pounds at birth."

-He spent his childhood playing sports, especially loving tennis and baseball.

-He enlisted in the military October 1941 and became a meteorologist for the Air Force. This career took him to 36 countries and saw him doing everything from playing Tennis in Cuba with a Wimbleton Champion to launching weather balloons in Greenland.

When he retired in 1971 he was a Chief Warrant Officer (Grade 4).

-His greatest love was his wife of nearly 60 years June.

She loved traveling with grandpa whenever possible and being involved with other military wives. They loved to be with their friends and there are tons of awesome pictures of trips, parties, leagues they belonged to, and functions they attended.

Grandpa loved his son (the forth) and grandson (the fifth, my Bj) so much. We know how much he loved the little baby in my belly too. One of the last things he did was touch my belly and smile before he started to just sleep and rest at the end. We’re so sad he won’t be able to see his great grandchild, but because of this last year and a half with him we’ll be able to tell baby all about grandpa. It wasn’t the easiest thing being newlyweds and caring for grandpa but we wouldn’t change it for the world. It brought us closer together and let us know someone so special in such an amazing way. It wasn’t always easy and there are always what-ifs and if-onlys. If only we could have gotten him to the beach, what if he was around for just a few more months. But all in all we did the best we could. He brought us happiness just like I hope we brought it to him.

Join the Conversation


  1. I read your blog every day, but I don’t comment. (I had you for in a swap that you organized like years ago.) I am so sorry to hear about Grandpa. He seemed like such a special and amazing man. You and BJ and your family will be in my heart this week.

  2. Iā€™m in tears, (I blame it on pregnancy hormones!).. your words are beautiful. My sympathies to you and your family.

  3. BJ and Amber I am so sorry about your grandpa.I was very sad to hear he had past.You were very good for Bill, and yes you did bring him happiness.

  4. Thankfully, Grandpa is now painfree and in peace. You should be proud of making his last days so full of love, smiles and kind words – when he needed all of those things so badly. Your family is in my prayers.

  5. Thank you for posting this, as you have been in my thoughts every day. I’m sorry for your loss, but I couldn’t think of a better couple to have been taking care of him during this last part of his life. I wish I had a chance to meet him, but like many people who read your blog religiously, I feel like I kinda knew him already. Thank you for sharing him with the world!

  6. What a beautiful post, your words are beautiful. He brought so much to your lives and you to his, you were lucky to have each other. Love you both.

  7. What a beautiful post Amber. You guys did a great job, and I am happy to have “known” Grandpa. Take care of yourselves.

  8. i am sending positive thoughts your way.
    what an extraordinary life grandpa was…thank you for sharing his story with us. may your wonderful memories of happy times spent together comfort you as you move forward.

  9. Hi Amber,
    You did good, you and BJ! You made Grandpa’s last days a place of peace, comfort and love.
    I’ll always think of your bump as “Matilda” now!
    I’ll miss your sweet, yet gruff Grandpa Garrison. Can’t imagine how much you and BJ will too!

  10. I love reading your blog each day, and look forward to it. I really loved all the great things you shared about “Grandpa” In just reading your blog, I felt like I “got to know him” because of all the cute things that you shared. I know your loss is great, and I know that you both loved him so much, and he you. I wish you both the peace you need to get through this time.

  11. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers. They are all truly appreciated. šŸ™‚

  12. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Grandpa with you! And I know that he really enjoyed his last year or so with you and BJ. {{Hugs}} and prayers!

  13. Thoughts and prayers go out to you and BJ Amber. Grandpa led a very exciting and full life it sounds like. I am sure the time he had with you two at the end were very good for him. I am sure he felt nothing but loved.

  14. Oh Amber, I am so sad to hear this. You have had a never-dull start to your marriage with BJ and I know you will treasure all the moments that you got to have with Grandpa which came from being there to care for him when he needed you, his family.
    Take care.

  15. Amber, I’m so sorry to read this news. Your post is wonderful tribute to him. You were all very lucky to have one another to lean on. Wishing you and your family the best. – Chris

  16. I send all my condolence from the Great White North. I’m very sorry to hear of your loss.

  17. I am so sorry for your loss. I don’t keep up with your journal in a daily way–I’m in and out–but something was teasing at my mind saying “Go check on Life In Color, see how Grandpa is doing, when’s the baby due…”
    You were so good to him, and, despite his crankiness, šŸ˜‰ I know he appreciated it, and loved you so much. You have had a rare gift, may it bless you and your family for many years to come.

  18. I am so sorry for your loss. I don’t keep up with your journal in a daily way–I’m in and out–but something was teasing at my mind saying “Go check on Life In Color, see how Grandpa is doing, when’s the baby due…”
    You were so good to him, and, despite his crankiness, šŸ˜‰ I know he appreciated it, and loved you so much. You have had a rare gift, may it bless you and your family for many years to come.

  19. I’m glad for you and him that you came in to Grandpa’s life, and I’m glad you brought him into ours – look how many fans he had! Still had it at 88!
    Sending you all lots of love, XXXXXXXXXX

  20. Your grandfather was so blessed to have the two of you to love him. I am so sorry for your loss. Your family is in my prayers and thoughts.

  21. I am so sorry, but as I’ve said before how lucky you were and he was to have each other. This blog and all the wonderful Grandpa stories and pictures will be a wonderful reference for your child when they are old enough to see it. May his memory be for a blessing.

  22. I have thought of you, BJ and Grandpa often these past few weeks. I will keep you all in my prayers. Rest assured Grandpa is in a far better place now, pain free for eternity
    God Bless!

  23. So sorry for your loss. May you and yours find peace and comfort in the love that surrounds you. Thinking of you.

  24. Dear Amber,
    Thank you so much for sharing your grandpa with us all. I am saddened to hear that he has passed away but assured he is in the right hands. I can’t explain it but I always enjoyed finding out what he was going to say next. Peace and comfort to you and your family during this time and may the Lord graciously bless you for all you did for him during his stay. May we all learn something alittle bit more about taking care of the “older” loved ones in our lives from your example. Grandpa was funny. Grandpa was honest. Grandpa was adorable. But most importantly, may we never forget…just how special of a Grandpa he was.

  25. I am so sorry to hear about BJ’s grandpa. You two were so sweet to him and I’m sure he couldn’t have asked for a better family. I am keeping you guys in my prayers.

  26. Amber, I’m so sorry for your loss but glad to hear Grandpa was where he wanted to be, surrounded by those he loved. I’ve been following your blog for about a year now. Even though we don’t know each other, I find your life and its similarity to mine fascinating.
    My gramma passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on September 22, which is why I just now learned of your grandpa’s passing. I haven’t had time to read your blog until now. Since Gramma passed, I’ve taken on the role of taking care of my grampa. He’s 82 and gets around pretty well, but Gramma did everything for him so he doesn’t know how to do simple things like grocery shop or work a microwave. Every day I feel fortunate that I’m able to help him now, and I think it’s helping me cope with the loss of my gramma, who was an incredibly loving woman. We miss her so much.
    Anyway, now I’m experiencing what it’s like to care for a grandparent as you guys have for so long. I commend you and BJ for the love and compassion you’ve shown your Grandpa. I know it can be difficult at times, but I also know it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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