James Arthur Garretson, 62, of Newcomerstown, died Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, in Community Hospice House, New Philadelphia, following a period of declining health.

A son of the late Harold and Betty (Milligan) Garretson, Jim was born May 12, 1950, in Newcomerstown.

Jim attended Newcomerstown Schools and was formerly employed by RG Smith and Gundy Construction. He was a member of Laborers Local 134 of Newcomerstown as well as the Local 134 Retirees Council.

He was a racing enthusiast and was a fan of NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jim himself was an avid racer and spent many weekends drag racing at the Magnolia Raceway. He also enjoyed hunting in his younger years. Jim will be remembered for his generous personality, his ability to make friends and for his wonderful sense of humor.

Jim's greatest joy in life was his granddaughter, Katelin, who he enjoyed taking out to eat. He also affectionately referred to her as Boo Boo.

He is survived by his loving wife, Linda (Sweitzer) Garretson whom he married on Nov. 17, 1973; his children, James T. Garretson of Pennsylvania and Jamie L. Neighbor of Newcomerstown; his granddaughter, Katelin Hart of Newcomerstown; his siblings, Marvin (Charlene) Garretson, Marjorie (Donald) Carr, Norma McKinney and Tom (Margaret) Garretson, all of Newcomerstown; a brother-in-law, Dennis Sweitzer of Madison Heights, Va.; his dog, Miko; and many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Jerry and Peggy Sweitzer.

In keeping with Jim's wishes, there will be no calling hours or services and cremation will take place through the care of Geib's Tuscarawas Valley Crematory at Dover.

Those wishing to do so may send the family a personal condolence and light a candle in remembrance of Jim by visiting the funeral home web site.

Contributions may be made in Jim's memory to: Community Hospice of Tuscarawas County, 716 Commercial Ave. SW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663; or to the Tuscarawas County Humane Society, 6895 Dover-Zoar Road, Dover, OH 44622.

In closing, it would only be appropriate, in the spirit of Jim, to end simply with Merry Christmas!