Garret Zoet


Garret Zoet, known to many as “Doc,” passed away on July 21, 2021, at the age of 88 years. Garret was born on May 23, 1933 in Rock Rapids, Iowa to Henry and Gertrude (Bakker) Zoet.  

His parents passed through Ellis Island in 1917 before landing in northwest Iowa. Garret was the first in his family to venture outside of the rural farming community to attend college at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. He always spoke fondly of his time at ISU where he would meet his future wife, Vivian.  They wed on June 12, 1955. Garret graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1957, eventually settling in Byron, where they raised their daughter Cathy, along with three sons, David, Gary, and Jim.

He founded Blackhawk Veterinary Services in Byron and enjoyed meeting many of the area farmers in northern Illinois with over 50 years of service in the veterinary profession as both a large animal and small animal veterinarian, retiring several times!  He cultivated many of these relationships into life-long friendships throughout the community. He enjoyed morning coffee with the crew downtown and found time to serve several terms on the Byron School Board while helping bring a new high school to fruition.  He was also an active member of the Middle Creek Presbytery Church and Mariners group with Vivian and very much enjoyed visiting with the seniors while delivering Meals on Wheels.

Most of all, he enjoyed being a father, grandfather, and eventually a great-grandfather.   He enjoyed attending the children’s and grandchildren’s events with Vivian, never missing an opportunity to be with family.

While we reflect back on mom and dad’s life in the Byron community, it was certainly not a one - way street. We cannot understate the important role the community played in shaping their lives and ours, especially over the past decade. They were truly blessed.

Garret was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Vivian, his son, David, and his son-in-law Rick Hahn, his father Henry Sr. and his mother Gertrude, and his sister Henrietta (John Appel).  

He is survived by his children and families, Cathy (Dan), Leslie (David), Gary (Janice), and Jim (Lisa).  Grandpa will also be remembered by his 11 grandchildren, Patrick, Garret, Ellen, Curt, Kelly, Kyle, Ben, Rachel, Megan, Mariah, and Michael, as well as five great-grandchildren.  

A Celebration of Garret’s life was held on Friday, July 30, 2021 from 4:30-7 p.m. at Farrell Holland Gale Funeral Home, 506 W. Merchant St., Byron, IL 61010. Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Middle Creek Presbyterian Church, 12473 Montague Rd., Winnebago, IL 61088 with another visitation from 10-10:45 a.m. prior to the service.

Memorial donations in Garret’s name can be made to Serenity Hospice and Home at 1658 S. Illinois Route 2, Oregon, IL 61061. Cards may be sent to the Zoet family at Farrell Holland Gale Funeral Home, PO Box 930, Byron, IL 61010

To leave an online condolence please visit