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William GartrellMarch 4, 1932 ~ December 30, 2017 (age 85)
William Gartrell, 85, of Frederick, MD passed on from this life Saturday Dec. 30 after spending one last Christmas basking in the love of the large family he adored and inspired.
How he lived, loved and made a difference in countless lives remains his enduring legacy.
William John Gartrell is survived by his wife, Helen Wivell Gartrell, his sister Kathleen Gartrell Reuper and six children William raised with his first wife, Marion, who passed in 1994 after a courageous struggle with cancer.
Bill and Marion raised two daughters, Cheryl Gartrell Corbett married to James Corbett of Middletown, MD -- and Anne Gartrell Topper married to Richard of Frederick, MD. They also raised four sons, Stephen Gartrell and wife, Sandra of Cypress, TX; Daniel Gartrell, who passed in 1993; William Gartrell and wife, Laraine of Brodheadsville, PA; and James Gartrell and wife, Michelle of Kutztown, PA.
William helped mentor six grandchildren, Billy Gartrell, Bill and Laraine’s son; Samantha, Joe and Jack, Anne and Rick’s children and Michael and Daniel, sons of Stephen.
He was beloved for his charismatic, boyish smile, wry sense of humor and for enriching so many lives, including those of Helen’s sons, Wesley, partner Allen White as well as Kevin Wivell, wife, Robin, daughter, Kelsey and son, Landon.
Born on Long Island, N.Y. in 1932, Bill graduated cum laude from Notre Dame with a degree in aeronautical engineering. After serving as an Air Force Lieutenant, Bill joined his father’s business and rose to become esteemed owner of the prestigious Gartrell Motors truck sales/repair franchise. What he was prouder of more than his stellar business resume was his emphasis on family.
It was a core value he and Marion instilled in their six children and the extensive circle of family friends they warmly and unselfishly welcomed as their own.
Bill and Marion paid for six children to attend college, launching them on successful paths of their own.
He was a tough-love father whose fierce work ethic he instilled in his accomplished children.
As Tim Kelly, cum laude graduate of Bill’s outside-the-box salesmanship school recalled in sharing a so-Bill life lesson: “Mr. Gartrell, that sign says, ‘No solicitation.’ “Oh, that doesn’t mean us,’’ Bill explained as they somehow ushered themselves into the office of the stunned Fort Knox-like dairy owner who wondered after their compelling presentation, “How the hell did you get in here?’’
That bold business approach mirrored his club championship-winning golf philosophy – take dead aim, play aggressively, and, if trailing at the turn, make sure to buy your sons enough beer until they fade. No small wonder his favorite hole was the 19th where he often toasted victory with a cherished Scotch.
Fittingly, Bill wrote a book on family values, literally, in an epic, phone-book thick Gartrell geneaology solicited from Gartrells worldwide.
In a sense, it stands as his living will, a forever teaching document of priceless anecdotes underscoring that while all families suffer and must overcome devastating loss -- as he and Marion did from the death of their first child, and later, Stephen’s twin, Danny -- ever-redeeming family love is life’s most profound, restorative blessing. It is the light helping us go on, even when those first steps in darkness seem impossible.
Thank you, Bill, for your benevolent, family-first legacy and a vibrant, shining life so well lived and played.
The family will receive friends at Stauffer Funeral Home, 1621 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, MD Wednesday Jan. 3 from 3-5 p.m. followed by 5 p.m. prayer service.
In lieu of flowers send a donation to a charity of your choice.