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Former Adjunct Instructor and ODU Sports Author Tom Garrett Dies

Thomas "Tom" R. Garrett, of Suffolk, a former adjunct instructor at Old Dominion University and author of two books about ODU athletics, died Feb. 18, 2014. He was 63.

A noted local sports historian, Garrett was the author of four books on sports in the Hampton Roads area, including "Old Dominion University Men's Basketball," co-authored with Clay Shampoe and Paul Webb, and "The Legacy Renewed: Football and Foreman Field: Norfolk Division - Old Dominion University," co-authored with Peter Stewart, ODU associate professor emeritus of history.

"ODU has lost one of its most faithful supporters and a fountain of information on the school's history of athletics," Stewart said.

Garrett was an avid fan of ODU teams, frequently attending Monarch football and basketball games as well as other sporting events. He earned two degrees from ODU: a bachelor's in 1972 and a master's in education in 1981.

"The entire athletic family at old Dominion is extremely saddened by the passing of Tom Garrett," said Carol Hudson, assistant athletic director for communications.

"Tom's love and enthusiasm for our athletic program was well known by our staff and coaches, and we had a very special relationship with Tom in the sports information office. Tom was our go-to-guy when we needed assistance on research on our sports history, and we are so grateful that we have his book on ODU men's basketball and research on the great players at Foreman Field now for future generations to utilize."

A native of Portsmouth, Garrett was the son of the late Maynard W. and Shirley J. Garrett. A member of Community Church at Western Branch, he was a retired Portsmouth Public Schools administrator.

In addition to his ODU athletic connections, Garrett held membership in the Portsmouth Sports Club, Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, the Society for American Baseball Research and its Jerry Malloy Negro League Committee Leadership Team, and the Friends of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Garrett is survived by his wife of 41 years, Carol Duvall Garrett; a son, Andrew H. Garrett and wife Jenna; a grandson, Elisha Gideon Garrett; a brother and sister-in-law, Jan and Elinor Heermans; a niece, Kathleen Howell and husband Brian; and special cousins, John H. James, Janice Maw, Frank Borum, John Borum and Rachel Chinn.

A celebration of his life will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Community Church at Western Branch. Sturtevant Funeral Home, Portsmouth Boulevard Chapel, is handling arrangements.