Don Garren passed away Sunday, June 24, 2018 at the age of 84.
Don was a native of Henderson County. He attended the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill earning a B.A. in English, then served in the U.S. Navy where he taught English and SAT preparation at the Naval Academy in Maryland, before returning to the Wake Forest School of Law where he earned his J.D.
Don Garren has been a champion of the Republican Party in North Carolina since the 1960’s and served in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1965 to 1969. In 1966 he helped elect the largest number of Republican members the House had elected since 1898 and was elected the Minority Leader of the General Assembly in 1967. Throughout the 1967-68 General Assembly term, Don, working with Republicans in the state senate, fought election corruption that had been rampant for years. The Democrat Party would not allow any county to elect its school board, pick its election officials or replace Republicans who died in office.
After his service as Minority Leader, Don was encouraged to run for Lieutenant Governor in the fall of 1968. After winning the primary, he joined with former Congressman Jim Gardner for a hard-fought gubernatorial race, which was the closest the Republicans had come to winning in the 20th century. Throughout the coming years, Don was requested to serve on various committees and commissions. He helped to elect and re-elect three Republican Governors from 1971 – 2012. He was an advisor and helped to elect and re-elect Congressman Charles Taylor.
Don practiced law in Henderson County for 35 years and served as Henderson County Attorney for a number of years.
Although quite accomplished, as only briefly outlined above, Pop, as he was known to his grandchildren, left his greatest legacy to those closest to him, his family. To them he left a love of reading, a desire to always look out for the best interest of family, and an ever-humble heart.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Horace and Edith Fair McKillop Garren. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Linda Blanton Garren; three children, son Marc (Tammerah Dean) Garren, daughter, Brandee Garren, and son, Grey Garren; and two grandchildren, Lillian Garren and Carter Garren.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 pm Saturday, June 30, 2018 at Shuler Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Four Seasons Compassion for Life, 571 S. Allen road, Flat rock, NC 28731.
5:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Shuler Funeral Home - Directions
125 Orr's Camp Road
Hendersonville, NC 28792