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Raymond J. Garber, retail salesman, dies

Raymond Garber
Raymond Garber (Baltimore Sun)

Raymond J. Garber, a retired retail salesman who served in the Marine Corps during World War II, died Sept. 7 of multiple organ failure at Harbor Hospital.

The Glen Burnie resident was 87.

The son of a baker and a homemaker, Raymond Joseph Garber was born and raised in Catonsville. He was a 1942 graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School in Irvington.

After high school, he joined the Marine Corps and served with the 1st Marine Division. He fought in the Guadalcanal, Okinawa and Northern China campaigns, and was in China when the war ended.

After being discharged, he returned to Baltimore, where he worked as a steeple-jack, rigger and model and in retail sales at Maryland Lumber Co. and Bernstein's Hardware.

He worked for 20 years for National Sporting Goods on Baltimore Street before taking a job at the old Valley Gun Shop on Harford Road in Parkville.

Mr. Garber was in his 70s and riding the bus one day to work when two passengers attempted to pick his pocket. Over 6 feet tall, he rose and went after the thieves.

"He reverted to his old Marine Corps days, and held both men on the bus until the police arrived. He had one man draped over a handrail, while he squeezed the other man's private parts," said his son, Kerry Raymond Garber of Essex, Vt.

He was a man of ineffable charm and endless good humor, his son said.

Several years ago, Mr. Garber began carrying a cane.

"When his grandson, Alex, asked him why he carried a stick, he responded, 'I need to protect myself from mad dogs, bad children and sad women,'" his son said.

"Not long ago in a grocery store, he was heard to respond to a young checkout girl who asked how he was doing today. He replied, 'I am rich, terminal, and have no living relatives. Care to go out Saturday night?'" his son said.

Mr. Garber, who had lived in Catonsville for many years before moving to Glen Burnie, was an avid reader about the Civil War and the Pacific campaigns of World War II. He also enjoyed reading about politics and fiction.

He was also a world traveler.

His wife of 45 years, the former Ida Sewell, died in 2001.

Services were Monday.

Also surviving are a daughter, Niala Murphy of Woodstock; three other grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. An earlier marriage to Hilda Carnaggio Pape ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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