Garwood “Gar” Gillette Baybrook
February 4, 1917 - May 12, 2014
Garwood Gillette Baybrook, a resident of Payson, Ariz. since 1974, passed away on Monday, May 12, 2014 at Rim Country Health in Payson at the age of 97. He and his wife, Eleanor Waite Baybrook, had moved to Payson from Phoenix when they retired.
Gar was born in Clymer, N.Y. Feb. 4, 1917, and spent all his growing years in western New York State. He graduated from high school in 1934, finishing as salutatorian of his class in just three years. Times were tough, so he worked at various odd jobs including one on a maple syrup farm for a dollar a day and a stint with the CCC Program for the Tennessee Valley Authority.
He and Eleanor met in Jamestown, N.Y. when he came to visit a cousin who ran the boarding house where she was staying while going to business college. That was on Jan. 31, 1939. He asked her to marry him in Valentine’s Day two weeks later, and they were married in Napoli, N.Y. on May 13, 1939. This whirlwind courtship resulted in a marriage that lasted 69 years.
He continued his education with night school classes and correspondence courses, with a focus on aeronautical engineering. He got a job with Bell Aircraft as a tool designer, and was the plant layout manager when he left. They moved to Arizona in 1959, having fallen in love with the desert on two previous visits. He worked as a designer for a couple of different rocket engineering firms in the Phoenix area until his retirement in 1974. During their marriage they both enjoyed traveling, and saw 49 of the 50 states, most of Canada, as well as taking several trips to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Gar and Eleanor were instrumental in starting the Payson Seventh-day Adventist Church, making the trip from Phoenix every weekend until they finally retired and moved to Payson. He and his wife Eleanor also founded a mail-order religious book business while in Phoenix, Leaves of Autumn Books, and continued to run it from Payson until the death of his wife in 2008 and his declining health in 2012 forced a move to a long-term care facility.
Garwood is survived by their daughter, Sherry McDonald (husband Don); son, Wayne (wife Sharon); two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the Payson Seventh-day Adventist Church at 700 E. Wade Lane, Payson, Ariz., at 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.