Kenneth Garrett PDF Print E-mail

Kenneth O'Neal Garrett, 51, of Raleigh, NC, died Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

Born on November 7, 1966, in Columbia, he was the son of Doris Amick Garrett White and the late Robert Garrett. Ken Garrett started his career at IBM in 1989 after a successful cooperative assignment with the company while at Clemson University from which he graduated. He began as a scientist assessing health impacts of chemicals. A mentor offered him a chance to move into management which fit him to a tee. In over 28 years, Ken advanced to Director within IBM’s manufacturing supply chain. Most recently, he was a beloved Director of CIO Services, Hardware/Software Manufacturing and Plan to Supply teams within IBM’s Raleigh/Durham, NC office. He was skilled at not only strategic planning for his organizations, but also at attracting and developing diverse talent so that everyone could reach their full potential.

He is survived by his mother, Doris White of Prosperity and aunts, uncles and cousins.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am Saturday, May 26, 2018, at the McSwain-Evans Funeral Home Chapel by the Rev. Bobby Morris. Burial will follow in Newberry Memorial Gardens. Memorials may be made to the charity of one's choice.

Active pallbearers will be Corey Amick, Kevin Chapman, Bobby Chapman, Tim Harmon, Stacy Amick and Carroll Amick.

A note of remembrance may be written to the family by clicking the "Add Comment" link below.




#50 David M. Jones 2018-06-11 22:17
Ken I miss you so much. I cry everyday and it’s selfish I know. Please Ken I pray to God above to be my strength to come back to me so I can get thru this. How ironic I know for me to ask God to send you back when I know you’re in a happier place. I’m glad we got to hang out and have fun in March and I miss you my beautiful dear friend.
#49 Jeff Poitras 2018-05-30 09:02
My deepest condolences / sympathies to the Garrett family. I had the honor to work with Ken at IBM for several years. He was an outstanding individual and he will be greatly missed by all of us. I am so very sorry for your loss.
#48 Tricia Johnson 2018-05-28 10:26
My prayers to the immediate and extended Garrett Family. I had the pleasure to work with Ken at IBM and as you read here and as I watched repeatedly, Ken was a great IBMer. It was always a positive, productive and friendly meeting when Ken was there. He touched so many as a leader and made a positive difference with his professionalism , dedication and heart. Ken will be greatly missed.
Please accept my sincere and heartfelt condolences.
#47 Karen Stuck Hamill 2018-05-27 20:12
I cannot believe this. Ken was so bright, loving, and personable. To say I have fond memories doesn't come close. What a terrific person he was. He has and will always have a special place in my heart. May you rest in peace.
#46 Ann Summer 2018-05-27 16:07
What a joy to have taught Ken and his classmates for two years at Mid Carolina Junior High! Prayers for the family. Ann Summer
#45 Edgard Fregoso 2018-05-27 09:49
Ken had a profound influence and impact in my life and the life of many others in our IBM family. I've worked with him over the last 10 years and I cannot express the deep sorrow and sadness after his departure. Ken was a great human being, kind and caring, extraordinary listener, inspiring leader, role model, exemplary professional, mentor, friend and a great sponsor.
Hope you find some peace in these words and be certain, Ken will live through all of us and his legacy will remain for long long time.

Edgard Fregoso
#44 Bill Schaefer 2018-05-27 07:05
I am so sorry to learn of Ken’s passing. I worked with Ken early in his IBM career. Ken was bright, energetic and fun loving. He worked hard but always maintained good humor and a ready smile. Although many years have passed, the attributes that stands out for me the most about Ken was his kindness and caring for others. He was a truly good person who made others around him better and I am grateful to have known him.
#43 Dan Schaefer 2018-05-27 06:39
I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and work with Ken. He’s always stood out as a uniquely gifted colleague and leader at IBM, but also a friend to so many. We will miss him greatly. My thoughts and prayers to Ken’s family.
#42 Farrah Hughes Schon 2018-05-26 15:24
I was saddened to learn of Kens passing. I was fortunate to have known him. My condolences to the family.
#41 Cindy Bazemore 2018-05-26 13:44
Bob and I are Ken’s neighbors in Raleigh. We are so shocked and saddened to learn of his passing. We offer our condolences to his family and friends. He will be remembered in his neighborhood for his many kindnesses, his smiles and greetings, and his caring ways. When he was our homeowner’s association president, he gave our grounds committee approval for the herb garden. It flourises today, and I will always associate him with that peaceful, quiet place. Please know he and his loved ones are in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers.
#40 Grace Holton 2018-05-26 09:19
I had the honor to work with Ken at IBM, but I will mostly remember his smile and his uncanny ability to be the utmost professional while also being kind and complimentary. We will all miss him, and send our prayers to his family.
#39 Dave Angley 2018-05-26 07:03
Dear Garrett Family, please accept my heartfelt condolences for the loss of Ken. I worked with Ken over the years and saw a kind man who always put the well-being of his people and other IBMers first. He was very skilled in his profession and was a coach and mentor to many. He will be deeply missed by his IBM family. I admired his cool and collected manner - never raising his voice to make a point. He was a friend that I will miss.
#38 Geetha Sampath Kumar 2018-05-26 05:19
It was a shock to learn of Ken's passing. A kind and wonderful human being. Am glad to have had the opportunity to work with him. Deepest condolences and prayers for all those who ever crossed paths with him. God bless!
#37 George Morrison 2018-05-26 05:03
My condolences to Ken's family and friends - I was privileged to work with Ken, all be it from a distance and know he will be sorely missed by many.
#36 Rodolfo Lepe 2018-05-25 14:19
I don’t have enough words to express how sad I feel about Ken’s departure, please receive my sincere condolences about Ken.

On the other hand, I’m grateful that Ken’s path crossed with mine, he always supported his teams in Guadalajara, Ken always was there to hear and provide direction and support.

Personally, I have a lot to thank to Ken, he was instrumental for one of my dreams to become a reality, I always wanted to spend time outside of Mexico, around 6 years ago he called me and asked me if I wanted to spend 2 years with my family living in United States, that’s one of the greatest experiences in IBM that I have had in my family. I will always be grateful about this and many more situations in which he was there.
#35 Sachin Avasthi 2018-05-25 14:03
It was a big shock to hear about Ken's passing, and I'm so sorry for your loss. He was one of the best mentors and the trust that he inspired in the team was amazing. I have known him only for the last year, but the impression that he has left on me will stay with me forever.God Bless and Rest in Peace Ken.
#34 Andrew Silvestri 2018-05-25 13:01
I met Ken when he became my senior manager at IBM. What impressed me was his general philosophy of all things being possible with the right focus and commitment. A number of creative business impacting processes were developed and implemented. Ken expected the best from everyone and expected no less from himself. In that vein he led by example. He was a caring compassionate person. Always available to coach, encourage and lend support whenever needed. While focused on the business tasks at hand, he always had an eye on the people and how things would affect them. Not only has IBM lost a great man but humanity as well. I always found Ken to be an inspiration to work with. My sincerest condolences to Ken’s family. Ken was a great guy…
#33 Mike Melfe 2018-05-25 12:55
I had the privilege to work with Ken before & after IBM. He was a great leader, colleague & friend and always had his heart in the right place. In addition, at 3:00am when you needed his support, humor or understanding, he always had your back and found a way to make you smile. My sincere condolences and prayers to Ken & family.
#32 Anand Narayanan 2018-05-25 12:45
My heartiest condolences to Ken's family on this loss! He was a wonderful human being and will be remembered for a long time to come!
#31 Lisa Killian Lever 2018-05-25 12:28
I struggle with my words. Ken was such a wonderful person and was so kind to others. And smart!! I was always envious of how smart he was when we were in middle school. After graduating, most of us have drifted apart, but there is a connection we all will always share. RIP Ken, and I pray for your mother, family and all the ones who loved you dearly. You made a positive mark on this world!

Lisa K. Lever
#30 Michiel Kuipers 2018-05-25 12:26
Ken has been my peer and manager in IBM. I remember him as a truly special person, caring deeply for his colleagues and employees. A true source of inspiration with an enormous amount of positive energy! He will be greatly missed, and I am still shocked by the news. To the family, plse accept my condolences an I wish you all the strength needed to cope with the loss.
#29 Gergely Vitarius 2018-05-25 12:22
Any time I do mentoring of talented management candidates, I always discuss with them who the best manager was I've ever worked for and what I learned from them. There's two managers I consider to be best I've ever worked for, and one of them is Ken Garrett.
It was just a few days before I saw the terrible news when I was thinking that I would schedule time with Ken as I would like to say hi and also would like to get his advice on some challenges in my work. A couple of days later I learned the shocking news. That discussion will never take place anymore:(.
I will never forget you Ken. Rest in peace.
#28 Nicole Narcisco 2018-05-25 11:26
The loss of Ken will be felt for years to come at IBM. He had such a profound influence on so many of us. His passion, loyalty, charisma, kindness and dedication shone through every day. Rest in peace Ken.
#27 Marilyn Hendershott 2018-05-25 10:49
My sincere condolences to Ken's family and friends. He was a highly respected manager at IBM. He wasn't a showy guy but he was dependable always early and did a great job. He will be missed by many many co-workers in RTP and globally. Words are never enough but this reminds us all to take advantage of every day we wake up. Ken definitely will be missed.
#26 David Hanley 2018-05-25 10:40
May I offer my deepest condolences to Ken’s family and friends. He was always such a great person to work with and to be around. He brought sunshine & happiness to us all. We will miss him. May he rest in peace.
#25 Niels Klejstrup 2018-05-25 10:38
I was so sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. I had the great pleasure to work with Ken over the last twenty years. He was such a great colleague, friend & role model for us all. We will miss his presence in our lives so much. My sincere condolences to all of his family & friends.
#24 Elaine G. Bedenbaugh 2018-05-25 10:09
I was saddened to learn that we had lost another classmate. Prayers of peace for the family as they face the difficult days that lie ahead.
#23 Rob Steindl 2018-05-25 09:55
Ken was a great co-worker and a trusted source. He will be sorely missed at IBM, as I am sure he will be by his family and home town.
#22 Ted Cook 2018-05-25 09:39
My heart is filled with sorrow with the news of Ken's passing. I owe my career success to Ken. He brought me into the IBM family in Research Triangle Park 23 years ago. He mentored me in my early days here. Our paths crossed over the years and Ken always had kind words for me. He was always a friendly voice on a call and a friendly face in the hall. I will miss him greatly.
#21 Sherrie Fulmer 2018-05-25 08:48
Please accept my heartfelt sympathy. I have many fond memories of Ken from our time at MC with the class of '85. Prayers for his loved ones.
#20 Bob Bergemann 2018-05-25 08:40
I was a close IBM colleague of Ken's and am so sorry for your loss. Ken was a great coworker and friend. I have great memories of the many IBM quarter end close periods we worked together. Ken was a great leader and motivator to all, I continue to take inspiration from him and will greatly miss his presence. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
#19 Michael Garrett 2018-05-25 08:22
To Ken's Family,

I want you to know how well respected Ken was at IBM. e was always very easy to work with, had a great 'can-do' attitude, and worked with a smile to get good results. He is already missed here greatly.

Michael Garrett, IBM
#18 Sandra Stevenson 2018-05-25 08:19
I am so sorry for your loss. Words can not begin to express the sadness felt today by all those that knew Ken. I was blessed to have worked with Ken over that last five years. He was a role model for all that knew him, he was kindhearted, generous, always passionate about his work, but most importantly always caring of and for those around him. He touched the hearts of everyone he came in contact with and will forever remain in our thoughts. My prayers are with the entire family during this very difficult time.
#17 Kirk Pedersen 2018-05-25 08:09
Really enjoyed working with Ken at IBM in RTP. He was well respected and will significantly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family.
#16 Sean Endres 2018-05-25 07:47
Ken was one of the first people I met on my journey as an entrepreneur. Every morning I would go to Starbucks to set up shop and, no matter how I early I would arrive, Ken would already be there hard at work, ready to greet me - and everyone - with a huge smile. As a friend and a mentor, he provided an example of how far hard work could take you, but also how to enjoy the journey. He had a far deeper influence on me - and my values - than he could ever know and for that I will be eternally grateful. I’m truly sorry for your loss. With Kens passing, your family and the world is missing a rare kind of person. My experience of Ken was of a human who was kind, caring, compassionate and wise at the deepest level of his being. If everyone tried to be a little bit more like Ken, the world would be a brighter place.
#15 Katya Hernandez 2018-05-25 07:10
I can not express how sorry I am for Ken's passing. He was a terrific leader, boss but most of all an amazing person. He will be deeply missed by all of us. I am very proud of once being part of his team, I had the great opportunity to have him as my boss at IBM.. I learned a lot from him. Thanks for everything Ken!!! you and your family will be in my prayers.
#14 Lynn Potter 2018-05-25 03:48
I had the pleasure to work with Ken over several years. His professionalism , dedication and heart were readily apparent to all who were privileged to collaborate with him. The trust he inspired in his team and clients was very precious. He will be greatly missed. Please accept my sincere condolences. May he Rest In Peace and may his loved ones draw some small comfort from knowing that so many colleagues truly care deeply.
#13 Stan Kimer 2018-05-25 02:08
So sorry to hear this news. I was one of the first people Ken met when he started work at IBM and his office was 3 doors down from mine. It feels like it was yesterday instead of almost 29 years ago. Prayers and thoughts to Ken's family and close friends during this time.
#12 Sherri Fulmer Gentry 2018-05-24 22:05
I was shocked and saddened to learn of Ken's passing. I will cherish my memories of my great classmate and to all his loved ones, especially his dear Mother, you're in my prayers! Sherri Fulmer MCHS Class of '85
#11 Lee Epting Koon 2018-05-24 17:43
I am so sorry for your loss. I loved Ken. He was a great friend. I have so many fond memories of him. My prayers are with all you during this time of loss.
#10 Barbara Ware 2018-05-24 17:08
I cannot begin to say how sad I am to hear this news. Ken was an exceptional student, but I an outstanding person. He helped with softball teams and was our school technical consultant as a student. My prayers are with Ken's family and all those classmates and teachers who had the pleasure of knowing him.
#9 Pam Shealy 2018-05-24 16:32
I am saddened and in shock to learn of Ken’s passing. I can see his big smile and hear his laughter in my mind. We shared many great times over the years! Prayers for his family and loved ones. Rest easy friend! MC Class of ‘85, Pam Livingston Shealy.
#8 Tina Leitzsey 2018-05-24 15:53
I'm so sorry for the hurt and great loss you are feeling. Ken was a special guy and good friend - Class of '85 lost a great man today. I have lots of great memories of classes with Ken. Praying for his family.
#7 Anne Hentz Caughman 2018-05-24 15:44
I taught Ken in the third grade at Prosperity Elementary. What a wonderful student he was! He was always so nice and polite. Qualities that I'm sure he carried with him throughout his life. Please know that you are and will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. May God bless you.
Anne Hentz Caughman and Family
#6 George C. Kinard, Sr 2018-05-24 15:02
Harriette joins me in expressing our condolences to Ken’s family. He was one of the most gifted students to attend Mid Carolina High School when I was principal there. In fact, he was in our daughter’s class and this whole class was special because not only were they true friends but also true academics.
George C. Kinard, Sr.
#5 Michelle Armstrong 2018-05-24 14:58
Sincerely sorry to hear about your loss. Ken and I were friends at Mid Carolina. He always had a smile on his face. Prayers for all who love him!
#4 Dana Hope Wilson 2018-05-24 14:21
I am so very sad about the passing of Ken. We were good friends in High School and I have many fond memories of our time together. He will always hold a special place in my heart.
#3 Ginger Catoe 2018-05-24 14:19
My heart is so sad to read about Ken's passing. What a great friend he was! God bless his family. Prayers lifted to his dear family. Class of '85 MCHS! Thanks for sharing some of the best years of my life with me, Ken!
#2 Mary Eubanks Deal 2018-05-24 13:35
I'm so sorry for your loss. Ken was a good friend to me, especially when we were at Clemson together and after my father's sudden and unexpected death. I don't know how I would have made it through my freshman year without his friendship. You are in my thoughts.
#1 Wes & Helen Griffin 2018-05-24 13:24
Words cannot express our sorrow at Ken’s passing! His high school activities and excellence certainly foreshadowed his career success! Such a fine, loving, hardworking, talented young man! Our prayers remain with his loved ones in the face of this devastating loss. God bless!