Everett Garretson

Obituary of Everett Garretson

Everett B. Garretson Obituary Everett Garretson, a Princeton resident for sixty years, died peacefully at his home on August 3. Born in Philadelphia on March 30, 1924 to LeRoy Garretson and Jessie May Fox Garretson, he graduated from Jenkintown High School in 1942, received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1948, and an MSEE from Princeton University in 1951. While at RPI during WWII he enlisted in the Army. After training in electronics at the Army Specialized Training Program(ASTP) at Wayne University and in the Signal Corp at Ft. Monmouth, NJ, he served at the Army Experimental Station in Pine Camp(now camp Drum) near Watertown, NY. At the Army Experimental Station he worked on design and implementation of specialized electronics intended for counter-intelligence in the European theater. At the end of WWII he transferred to Washington, where in addition to military duties he attended night school to prepare for re-entry to college. After graduating from RPI in 1948 he worked in research and development at Philco Corporation, then a RCA licensee and the country's largest manufacturer of radios and televisions. In 1949 he enrolled in the graduate engineering program at Princeton University. At Princeton he soon met and married Barbara Clayton Grahn, his loving wife of sixty years. Barbara is the daughter of Belle Clayton Grahn and granddaughter of Henry P. Clayton, the original proprietor of H. P. Clayton department store in Princeton. In 1951 he founded Garretson Research and Development Corporation, a manufacturer of viscometric medical instrumentation. He subsequently became VP of Engineering and later VP of Operations at General Devices, a local manufacturer of multichannel information sampling devices, including telemetry switches used in the Mercury spacecraft. In 1964 he changed careers once more to partner with his wife Barbara as co-owners of H. P. Clayton, Inc., a landmark women's department store on Palmer Square in Princeton. Over the years he modernized and enlarged the store several times to become the largest family-operated retail business in Princeton. Not one to abandon his interest in engineering, in the late 1960's he taught himself computer programming and accounting skills necessary to automate Clayton's business and accounting functions on a new generation of IBM minicomputer designed to scale down the power of mainframe computing for small- and medium-sized businesses. Clayton's store was sold in 1989. In retirement Mr. Garretson remained an avid reader with a keen interest in technology and business. Mr. Garretson believed in public service and involvement in the community. He was a member and Vice President of The Princeton Chamber of Commerce. He was appointed to The Princeton Township Zoning Board of Adjustment and served as Chairman. He was a board member of The Historical Society of Princeton and a President of the Friends of The Princeton Public Library. He was active in The Princeton United Way. He remained active in The Rotary Club since 1964. He was a member of The Nassau Club for fifty years. He became a life member of the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni and served as Treasurer. He was a member of The First Presbyterian Church of Princeton, now known as The Nassau Presbyterian Church. He served on the Board of Deacons and the Session under Reverend Dr. Donald Meisel, Sr.. He was Co-Chair of the Church's "Every Member Canvas." He served on the Church's Cemetery Committee, and edited the Cemetery brochure guide. Everett was predeceased by his sister Dorothy Garretson Partridge. He is survived by his wife Barbara, two sons David Clayton Garretson and John Everett Garretson, David's wife Silvia Garretson, John's wife LaRae Raine Garretson, and his granddaughter Lisa Sendrow. A private interment is planned. Please join family and friends at a memorial service at Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau St., Princeton, at 11AM on September 8, luncheon to follow at The Nassau Club, 6 Mercer St., Princeton. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Princeton Health Care System Foundation, 3626 US Route 1, Princeton NJ 08540-9918, or to the charity of your choice.
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