Joseph John Garity, 79, of Chelsea, died on June 22, 2009.
He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 31, 1929, but grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. He attended Holy Ghost School, Knoxville Catholic High School, and the University of Tennessee, where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering.
He served four years in the United States Air Force during the Korean War with a rank of Staff Sergeant in the 86th Fighter Wing in Neubiburg and Landstuhl, Germany.
He joined Southern Bell Telephone Company in 1956 as an Engineer, serving in Atlanta, New York, Louisville, Shreveport, New Orleans and Birmingham. He attended the Operating Engineer Training Program at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, followed by an assignment as Engineering Manager at AT&T in New York.
After a career with the Bell Telephone Company, which spanned 35 years, he retired as Assistant Vice President of Information Systems of BellSouth in 1991.
He served on the Shelby County Planning Commission for nineteen years, most of which he served as the Chairman. He was a founding member of the Kiwanis Club of Chelsea. He also was a founding member of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, and served as Chairman of the Planning Committee, which was responsible for the phased in plan that led to the establishment of Our Lady of the Valley Church and School.
He is survived by his wife, Kate S. Garity, his daughter, Rebecca Garity DePalma, his grandchildren, Blanton Webb DePalma, Katherine Alexandra Webb DePalma, and Elizabeth Lawrence DePalma, all of Birmingham; and his sisters, Lucille Garity Heywood of Brentwood, Tennessee, and Grace Garity Williams of Knoxville, Tennessee.
The service will be held at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, 7340 Cahaba Valley Road, at 11 a.m. on Saturday June 27.
Prior to the service there will be visitation with the family at St. Mark’s beginning at 10 a.m.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Diabetes Foundation.