Lonnie J. Jarrett, 84, passed away on Sunday, March 8, 2020. He was born July 9, 1935 in Floyd County, Texas, the youngest child of Charlie and Grace Pearson Jarrett.
He received his undergraduate degree from West Texas State University, now West Texas A&M, in 1957 and his Master’s Degree in Communications and English from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales in 1966.
Lonnie married Mary Frances Dodson on March 7, 1957. He began his teaching career that same year in Friona, Texas. He taught in Tulia High School, Tulia, Texas, from 1958 to 1961 and Clovis High School, Clovis, New Mexico 1961 to 1968. In 1968 the family moved to Alamogordo where he began teaching at NMSU-A. He retired in 1990 from full-time teaching and taught part-time until 1998, completing a total of 41 years.
During his long career in education, Lonnie was active in the New Mexico Speech and Drama Association, The National Thespian Society where his students in Clovis won national recognition, The New Mexico Association of Educational Retirees, The Otero County Association of Educational Retirees, and The Otero County Literacy Council. He was a member of the Board of Directors of The Flickinger Center of Performing Arts for many years and served as secretary and as president of the Board. One of his passions was legitimate theatre, and he often traveled to New York City to see Broadway shows. He and his tour partners took groups to NYC annually for over 25 years.
Lonnie was known as “POPS” by his grandchildren. He always had a good book to read, and I don’t recall anyone ever beating him at the game of scrabble. We all looked forward to our weekly family night at Si Senior Restaurant. His years of travel included France, England, Hawaii, and over 35 trips to NYC to see Broadway plays. He was always ready to go “just one more time”.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Frances (Fran); son, Kerry Jarrett (Debbie) of Alamogordo, daughter, Kim Grisak (Ronnie) of Alamogordo; grandchildren, Tyler Grisak (Jessica) of El Paso, Texas, Tanner Grisak of Durango, Colorado, Kolton Jarrett (Jami) of Tarboro, North Carolina; one great-grandchild, Hayden Layneigh Jarrett of Tarboro, North Carolina; many nieces and nephews, and a very special niece, Mickey Gowler and husband, Jerry, of Lubbock.