Oda Garnett Croone
Dec 27, 1943 – Nov 9, 2014
O. Garnett Croone, Her Life’s Legacy
Garnett was born on December 27, 1943 in Monroe, Louisiana, the fifth of six children to John and Orell Robinson. The family moved to Vancouver, Washington when she was six-months old and eventually settled in Portland, Oregon.
The Robinsons were an extremely close knit family. So much so that Garnett grew up with a second set of parents: Uncle Phil, her father’s brother who married her mother’s sister, “Auntie” Odalee. Both couples were married on October 18, 1933 and remained together until their passing. The two couples lived together for 25-years and essentially raised six children together in the house on Cook Street, as it was affectionately known. Garnett shared a close bond with her three brothers, Manfred, Lemuel and Harold and two sisters, Rometta and Johnetta, that continued throughout her life.
Growing up in Portland, Garnett had many friends that endured into adulthood. She met lifelong friends Joanne, Alonzetta, Katherine and Lola while attending Ulysses S. Grant High School. She later met Shirley Nesbitt-Barzar after high school and then met Alice McRae in 1967, when they lived in the same apartment building.
Garnett raised her first two children, Michael and Kathy, as a single parent in the 1960s and early 1970s. She obtained her first job at the Draft Board to provide for her young family. She later worked as a secretary for Model Cities and at one point, even worked two jobs to enroll her children in private school. The three were always together and due to a lack of a car, covered almost all of Northeast Portland by walking everywhere!
In 1972, Garnett met James Croone, after visiting Seattle. They were soon married and moved to Seattle in 1973, where she gave birth to her third child, Ryan. The family settled in the house in South Seattle that remained her home for 41 years. She always accepted James’ children as her own and considered their children and eventually, their children’s children as her own. This was especially true for her granddaughter Charlotte and grandson Zakiyan, who lived with her and James until he joined the military in 2013.
Garnett accepted Jesus Christ at an early age as a member of her family’s church, Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Portland. After moving to Seattle, she searched for a new church and eventually joined Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. She was a member of the Voices of Tabernacle Choir and served as the president of the Gospel Choir. She was also the secretary for Sunday School and attended bible study classes and prayer meetings for as long as she could. Because of her faith in God and compassion, many people sought her out for prayers, wisdom and advice. She always had a kind word and knew the right thing to say for any given situation, with an emphasis on the positive. So much so that her niece Rhonda nicknamed her “Rev”!
Garnett’s work life in Seattle began with Travelers Insurance and the University of Washington. She eventually moved to Puget Sound Energy in Bellevue as the executive secretary to the Vice President. She spent over thirty years there and retired as the Disability Coordinator. She was especially proud of the steps she took to further her career with classes at City University, where she excelled in writing and public speaking as a member of Toast Masters.
After retiring, Garnett and James traveled around the US visiting family and friends. Her last trip to see her daughter in Northern California was by train. She enjoyed it so much that she vowed to leave airplanes alone and only travel on Amtrak! She loved working on her laptop computer and had pondered using her writing skills to start a blog. She loved plants and flowers, was an avid reader and loved collecting glass figurines and knickknacks. But most of all, she was a doting grandmother and loved talking and spending time with her family and grandchildren.
Preceding Garnet in death are her parents, John and Orell Robinson, her “second set of parents”, Phillip and Odalee Robinson and her brother, Harold Robinson.
Garnett is survived by her loving husband James Croone, son Michael Robinson, daughter Kathryn Mitchell (Willie Mitchell) of Vallejo, CA, son Ryan Croone (Rose Wallace-Croone), brothers Manfred Robinson (Genevieve), Lemuel Robinson (Shirley) of Portland, OR, sisters Rometta Tyler of Portland, OR and Johnetta Redditt of Atlanta, GA, grandchildren Andrew and Adam Mitchell, Ryan II and Jessica Croone and Zakiyan Redfeather of Honolulu, HI, first cousins Dian Jackson and Carl Harris (Annie) step children Angela Croone and James Croone Sr. (Bobbi), sister-in-laws Margaret Croone and Katie Mae Mason, lifelong friend Alice McRae and a host of grand / great-grandchildren, including Zamiah Redfeather.
This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.