Butch Garrett of Division 475 has 61 years of continuous membership
The BLET congratulates Brother E. H. (Butch) Garrett, for 61 years of service continuous membership.
Brother Garrett was born in San Antonio, Texas on January 21, 1924, and moved to Smithville, Texas in his youth. His father was a conductor on the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad and his brother was a switchman for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Butch received a 10th grade education, and enjoyed growing up in the country.
He went to work on a bridge gang, working out of Smithville, Texas in April 1942, for the MKT. In July 1942, he went firing on a steam engine.
Butch was hunting one day and visiting different neighbors in the area when he was told that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, "I did not even know where Pearl Harbor was", he said. Later that year he was drafted into the Navy, where he spent 3 years in the Pacific Ocean on the USS Salt Lake City as a 42 millimeter gunner.
When he returned home in 1945, he resumed his career as a fireman on a steam engine. Butch earned promotion to a locomotive engineer in 1954. In June of that year Butch married Vella Mach and they have been together for 52 years. They have two daughters, one son, and 6 grandchildren.
He was initiated into the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Division 475 on July 5, 1946, and held the local presidents office for one term.
In November 1983, he made his last trip as an engineer from Houston to Smith-ville, Texas, on a mixed freight train with GP-40s as power.
Butch enjoys his grandchildren, fishing, and mowing his lawn.
"Our sincerest congratulations to Brother Garrett for his years of service," said Chuck Breeden, Secretary-Treasurer of BLET Division 475.
He lives at: 1402 East 7th St., Smithville, TX 78957.
© 2007 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen