Raymond Michael Garrison

March 19, 1956 - February 13, 2024

Ray was born in La Grande, Oregon on March 19, 1956, to J. L. Garrison and Mae Schmaling Garrison. He passed away, surrounded by family, at his home in Heber Springs, AR on February 13, 2024.

He had attended Churchill County High School where he enjoyed playing basketball. He subsequently enlisted and served in the United States Navy. Raymond returned to the Pacific Northwest where he initially worked in sawmills with his father but started his steelmaking career in 1977 for Cascade Steel in McMinnville, Oregon in 1977.

In 1978, in Morton, WA, he married Rebecca L. White of Fallon, NV. Raymond and Rebecca raised a family that included three sons and a daughter: Clifford Jay, Matthew Ray, Christopher Clay and Jaimie Rochelle. In 1981, Raymond moved to Utah, to work for Nucor Steel in Plymouth, Utah, where he contributed to the development of newer steelmaking techniques that recaptured steel from scrap.

In 1991, Nucor Steel took Raymond south to Arkansas and Tennessee. He became well known throughout the steel industry, often requested at other mills to troubleshoot. He went to Columbus, Mississippi, to help build a new mill from the ground up for SeverCorr.

In 2014, Raymond joined a new company, Big River Steel, to start up a new steel mill in Osceola, Arkansas. BRS would pioneer techniques that produced finer quality steel. Ray continued to work with and mentor the
young steelmakers who came behind him. He believed in leading by example. He is preceded in death by his father, J.L. Garrison and brother, Jimmie Lee Garrison.

He is survived by Rebecca Garrison, their four children, ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild: Clifford Jay Garrison of Dyersburg, TN and his children Tanner, Tristyn, and Tyler and granddaughter, Journey; Matthew Ray and Stacy Garrison of Drasco, AR and their children Cole, Mattie, and Aliyah; Christopher and Adrian Garrison of Millport, AL and their children Preston, Dillon, Colton, and Logan; and Jaimie Garrison of Peoria, IL.

He is also survived by his mother, Mae Schmaling of Fallon; by four brothers and four sisters: Clifford (Fran) Garrison of Fallon, NV; Gary Garrison of Bountiful, UT; Bobby (Kathi) Garrison of Fernley, NV; David (Kristine) Garrison of Odem, TX; Cathy Jackson of Reno, NV; Patti (Clane) Shirley of Twentynine Palms, CA; Becky Cromwell of Fallon, NV; and Elaine (Steve) Francis of Nibley, UT.

A funeral service will be held at Smith’s Family Funeral Home on February 29th at 12 Noon.