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Walter Glen Gaumnitz, 61, psychiatric social worker


Walter Glen Gaumnitz, a psychiatric social worker and recovering alcoholic, died of a stroke Wednesday at Howard County General Hospital. The Ellicott City resident was 61.

Mr. Gaumnitz was born and raised in Washington. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Washington College in 1964 and a master's from the University of Maryland School of Social Work in 1969.

He was an employee relations specialist for the Social Security Administration from 1973 to 1985, and a clinical staff coordinator for Changing Point Inc., a Baltimore alcohol recovery program, from 1987 to 1988.

For the past three years, he was a psychiatric social worker at the Prince George's County Correctional Center in Upper Marlboro. He also owned the private practice ACR Counseling Services for the past 19 years - the same period in which he had maintained his sobriety.

He was an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous, and "a great carrier of the Alcoholics Anonymous message," said his wife of 10 years, the former Idalia Romero, noting that "through the years, he personally had helped many alcoholics."

He was a member of the National Association of Social Workers and Unity Church of Christianity.

Mr. Gaumnitz also was a member of the North St. John's Swim & Tennis Club in Ellicott City and liked cooking, entertaining and dancing.

Services were held Sunday.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Gaumnitz is survived by two sons, John A. Bastiany-Gaumnitz of Harrisburg and Carrick S. Bastiany-Gaumnitz of Baltimore; three daughters, Tamatha A. Gaumnitz of Northampton, Mass., Amber L. Gaumnitz of New York City and Star L. Bastiany-Gaumnitz of Ellicott City; and a sister, Jean Gruber of Annapolis. His marriages to the former Bonnie Orrison and Beatrice Bastiany ended in divorce.

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