To the editor:
In every town and county and each generation, there arises among us at least one individual whose achievements and persona stand head-and-shoulders above the majority of the population. In the 70 years generation, between April 23, 1949 and May 4, 2019, one of those people for Roxboro and Person County was Dr. William E. “Billy” Garrett Jr.
Much has been said of his early accomplishments in both academics and sports at Roxboro High School, which earned him a Morehead scholarship, as well as his medical training at UNC-Chapel Hill, and then his 40 years on staff at Duke Medical Center.
His acclaim as a physician and scientist, surgeon and a professor of orthopedics and sports medicine has brought him honors and awards from around the wold. The enormity of his accomplishments fill us with awe and pride.
But the thing that touches us with sadness the most at his passing is the loss of his humble, caring personality, accentuated by the twinkle in his eye and his marvelous sense of humor.
There is no knowing the number of lives (many in Person County) he has touched and made better because of his professional excellence and his own genuine kindness. The love and esteem in which he was held here and around the world was evidenced when Duke Chapel was filled to capacity for his funeral on May 13th.
The people of Person County will always remember him with pride and thankfulness, realizing how blessed we have been to have had him in our midst.
Our hearts go out to his much-loved family, wife Janice Kirby Garrett, sons David, Michael and Jonathan, his grandchildren and his extended family as well has his surviving siblings, Dr. Stephen Garrett and Mrs. Bonnie G. Perkins.