Ex-pro football player and one of Natchitoches most-beloved citizens died on July 4 in one of the city pools where he was director.
J.D. Garrett, 73, was teaching swimming lessons yesterday when he passed away. City of Natchitoches Pool Manager Coach Garrett passed away in the evening hours on July 4 while at City Pool, located on Amulet Street near City Park.
The Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office has determined Coach Garrett died of natural causes while at City Pool.
Coach Garrett, 74, worked at City of Natchitoches swimming pools for 59 years.
“On behalf of the City of Natchitoches, I extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Coach J.D. Garrett,” said Mayor Lee Posey. “We greatly appreciate the time and dedication he gave to the City of Natchitoches all these many years. Many Natchitoches children learned how to swim because of Coach Garrett’s guidance and instruction.”
Both Coach Garrett and his sister, Betty, were recognized several years ago by the City of Natchitoches for their dedication to the City’s pools when the City of Natchitoches named its spray park in their honor – Garrett Spray Park.
City of Natchitoches Recreation and Parks Director Kendrick Llorens said City Pool is closed until further notice.
“The City of Natchitoches has lost a great man and mentor,” Llorens said. “He was a father figure for all he came in contact with. He was an inspiration to us all. He will truly be missed.”
He was a football coach at Natchitoches Central High School and a former member of the New England Patriots for about four years starting in 1964. He was born in Natchitoches. Funeral arrangements are forthcoming.
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