“It must be nice to be Mr. Jarratt,” his wife would say. He agreed. It was, until it wasn’t.
Alvin “Keith” Jarratt, 72, went to his Heavenly Home on March 10, 2021, at his home in Fort Davis, Texas, following his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Keith was born Sept. 25, 1948, to Alvin Art Jarratt and LaRue West Jarratt in Loraine, Texas. His grandparents, Lester Lee Jarratt and wife Mae Reeder Jarratt, and JW and wife Trixie West, all of Loraine, were important to Keith, and influential in his upbringing.
Keith lived more than 70 years in what he lovingly referred to as his “earthly paradise” in Fort Davis. He attended elementary school through high school in Fort Davis Independent School District, graduating in 1967. He attended two years at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.
When asked what his greatest accomplishment was, Keith answered, “Raising a wife and three kids.” He married Bridget Creek on Oct. 16, 1971, while she was a senior at Fort Davis High School. He would brag, “She is the only Mrs. Valedictorian of FDHS,” and, “I’ve never studied so much in my life!” They would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in October.
Keith dearly loved his three children and nine grandchildren, daughter Dustie Jarratt Bartolazzi and husband Emory, and grandsons Caycen and Turner, of Magnolia, Texas; son Wesley Lance Jarratt and grandchildren John Wesley and Amelia Margaret of Fort Davis; daughter Annette Jarratt Barraza and husband Eddie, and grandchildren Mariah, Vincent, and Avery; and Sye and Kelston of Alpine.
Keith is also survived by his stepmother Mary Anne Jarratt of Fort Davis; brother Jay L. Jarratt, Sr., and wife Maribeth Jarratt of Fort Davis; Steve and sister Jan Jarratt Jacobs of New Braunfels, Texas; Johnny and cousin Myra Harvey of New Braunfels; nephews Jay L. Jarratt, Jr., and wife Audra of Justin, Texas; Brian Jarratt and wife Melissa of Fort Davis; and Bart Jarratt of McKinney, Texas.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” said Confucius.
In 1971, Keith founded and worked at Jarratt Dirt Work and Paving, Inc. Keith often reflected that his business longevity was thanks to God’s provision, and the continual support of the Big Bend Area Communities. Keith did love his job of 50 years, especially working alongside his son and co-owner Lance and daughter Annette, his office manager. He felt so very blessed to have had the opportunity to work for so many local ranch families, businesses, and communities throughout West Texas. Keith was further grateful to have served as road maintenance contractor for Jeff Davis County for more than 45 years.
Keith loved the Lord Jesus Christ, and strove to serve him as a member of his beloved First Baptist Church, serving as a trustee, deacon, and choir member, and on multiple committees throughout his 61-year membership. He also served his local community as a Fort Davis ISD Board of Trustees member for 18 years, and as a member of the Jeff Davis County Appraisal Board.
Keith was a car enthusiast and collector. Keith and Bridget hardly ever ventured far from Fort Davis except for trips to Scottsdale, Ariz., in January to all the car auctions and shows. He enjoyed entering local car shows and the camaraderie among other car enthusiast, and winning many trophies.
Mr. Jarratt was an avid storyteller, recounting local lore and history of his dear West Texas. He also delighted in sharing a good joke, even to the embarrassment of his wife and kids. He was famous for quotes such as “Live and learn, die and forget it all,” “I’ve suffered a great many catastrophes in my life, most of which never happened,” and “This too shall pass.”
He shared a special quote with daughter Annette, saying, “Hang in There.” He even give her an engraved necklace to remind her. One of his favorites when asked how he was, “I am just tippy top!”
However, of all Keith’s accomplishments, his greatest desire for his legacy was to share the love of Christ. “For God so loved the world that He gave his One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
The family wishes to express its appreciation to Dr. Jim Luecke, Rebecca Lewis, NP, Kathy Duncan, NP, Meredith Imler, PharmD, and to healthcare professionals Connie Cornett, Jess Williams Jones, Yolanda Molinar, Crystal Bentley, Andrea Lara, and Rosalinda Jordan for their care and support.
A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church, 101 South Agave in Fort Davis on Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 2 p.m., with a fellowship reception to follow, and a private family sunset burial at Hillside Cemetery, Fort Davis.
In lieu of flowers, memorials/donations may be made to First Baptist Church of Fort Davis, P.O. Box 809, Fort Davis, TX 79734.
Arrangements were entrusted to Alpine Memorial Funeral Home.