Jerry Craig Garlock was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 10, 1925, to John LaRue Garlock and Erma Winnifred Jensen. On his father’s side, Jerry’s Mormon heritage goes back to the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith; and on his mother’s side, the first converts to the LDS Church were among the pioneers who followed Brigham Young to the Rocky Mountains.
When Jerry was less than a year old, his family moved to Los Angeles for his father’s employment. They became associated with the beloved old Manchester Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and thanks to the influence of caring ward members, Jerry was baptized at age 9 and received the Aaronic Priesthood at age 13. In his biography, Jerry wrote of his priesthood ordination: ‘From that point on, my life changed and I never looked back.’ His quorum advisors lovingly taught Jerry to be a man of God, fit and clean in body and soul.
Jerry’s earliest memories are about the beauties of nature, poetry, and especially music. He felt these things brought him closer to his Father in Heaven–a feeling he cherished from a very young age and that he always fostered in his life and the lives of his loved ones. He later became interested in muscle-building, gymnastics, and other pursuits (even setting the junior high school record of 75 push-ups)–but his love of inspiring music was a thread that ran through everything he did.
In early 1944 Jerry went to the home of Sister Ruth Haycock to transpose some music, and in his words, ‘I saw the cutest girl that I have ever seen.’ He fell in love with her ‘on the spot,’ even though he was 18 and she was a mere 14 years old. In December 1947 they were married in the Logan, Utah LDS Temple (‘the most important day of my life!’) and their marriage endured for over 67 years. Their family grew to include five children, 21 grandchildren, and 52 great-grandchildren.
Jerry graduated from George Washington High School in South Los Angeles, and then enlisted in the Naval Officers Training Corps. He was sent to the University of Southern California for engineering training, but World War II ended before he was assigned to a tour of duty. He completed his bachelor’s degree at USC in 1949, followed by a teaching position at Dana Jr. High in San Pedro. Jerry subsequently completed master’s and doctoral degrees at USC, and his career included various teaching and administrative positions in secondary schools and at various colleges and universities, including BYU and over 30 years part-time at USC.
Jerry served in numerous callings in the Church, including elders quorum president, stake Sunday School president, bishop’s counselor, bishop, high councilor, counselor in a stake presidency, 25 years as a temple worker, and 39 years as a patriarch (giving 1,284 patriarchal blessings, including 186 in India). He and his wife Marilynn served three missions together–Washington D.C. South, India Bangalore, and Nauvoo, Illinois.
A closing quote from his biography: ‘When Marilynn came along, it was obvious to me that she was an angel and I have lived with an angel these many years…. The things that I love in life saturate me daily. I am in awe with just the opening of my eyes and the hearing through my ears wherever I am, of the wonders and beautiful things of life that God has given me. How grateful I am for being a child of God to come to the earth when the gospel has been restored … and that through my Savior Jesus Christ I may return to the Father and the Son.’
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the General Missionary, Perpetual Education, or Humanitarian Aid Funds.