Sidney Ashton Garrett, 65, of Lawrence, Kansas, a respected community leader and business executive, died at home on Tuesday, August 2, 2011. Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 5, 2011 at Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence. Private burial will be at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence.
She was born on July 12, 1946, in Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter of Scott C. Ashton and Nancy Newlin Ashton, both of whom predeceased her. Her mother died just two months prior to her death. Mrs. Garrett cared for her mother in her later years with constant loving kindness.
Mrs. Garrett graduated from the University of Kansas in 1968, where she served as treasurer of Pi Beta Phi sorority. She also did graduate work at the University of Kansas and the University of Houston. She remained an active supporter of KU, KU sports and Pi Beta Phi, including membership in the University’s National Alumni Board of Directors and its Chancellor’s Club.
She was President and Chief Executive Officer of Brown Cargo Van, Inc., a prominent manufacturing entity in Lawrence, for two decades until her retirement in 2007. During her tenure, the company developed innovative specialty and custom vehicles. She was also a Certified Public Accountant. In 2005, she was honored by Baker University as Business Person of the Year.
Mrs. Garrett was privileged to contribute her unending energy and keen intellect to better the community. She served as Vice Chair and Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Lawrence Memorial Hospital and as a member of the Finance Committee of its Endowment Association; Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Kansas Land Trust; a member of the Board of Directors of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, Lawrence Community Health Plan, Douglas County Development, Inc., Lawrence Arts Center, Commerce Bank of Lawrence; and as President and Treasurer of the Lawrence Country Club. After her retirement she enjoyed living part of the year in Wickenburg, Arizona, where she had attended high school. In Wickenburg, she served as Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Los Caballeros Golf Club.
Her professional memberships included the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, National Truck Equipment Association, National Association of Manufacturers, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and the Lawrence Rotary Club.
Mrs. Garrett was a gifted athlete throughout her life, excelling in all manner of sports from rodeo horseback riding to her greatest love, golf. She won countless amateur golf tournaments. She repeated as Lawrence Country Club Ladies’ Champion and was the Kansas Women’s Golf Association’s State Senior Champion in 2004 and 2010. Most recently she was the Los Caballeros Club Champion and had been looking forward to defending her 2010 Kansas Women’s Golf Association “Tee for Two” title. She shot her lowest lifetime score, a 74, just three months before her death.
Survivors include a sister, Judith Ashton, Boston, Massachusetts, two brothers and their spouses, Donald B. and Annie Ashton, Austin, Texas and Stewart H. and Genevieve A. Ashton, Paris, France, her nephew, Ian Scott and his spouse Melissa Ashton, Brooklyn, New York, her nephew, Jean Ashton, and three nieces, Elisabeth, Zoe, and Sophie Ashton.
The family suggests contributions to the University of Kansas Endowment Association, the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association, the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, Arizona, or to a charity of choice.