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Gary Michael Ertter
October 25, 1957 ~ January 15, 2024 (age 66) 66 Years Old
23 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Gary's family - View on Tribute Wall
This obituary was lovingly written by the family of Gary M. Ertter –
Gary was born in Alexandria, VA on October 25,1957 to his loving parents Louella M. Shaffer Ertter and James J. Ertter. Gary was welcomed by brothers Kenneth R. Ertter, Keith D. Ertter and sister, Cecelia M. (Ertter) Stanton. Gary spent most of his life living in Laurel, Maryland. He attended St. Mary of the Mills elementary school through 8th grade, was an altar boy at St. Mary’s Church with brother Keith, had a paper route in West Laurel for many years, and spent many hours exploring the creeks and woods that surrounded his home. Gary graduated from Laurel High with the class of 1975.
Gary was employed with the Prince Georges County School System as a maintenance tech engineer, proudly retiring in October, 2021 after an astonishing 40 years of service. Gary took many health-related courses at Montgomery C. C. on the Takoma Park campus and nurtured his interests in science by working every other weekend as a lab tech for Shady Grove Medical Center, retiring in 2022 after 30 yrs.
Gary loved playing guitar and singing songs with his ‘baby sister’ Lisa M. (Ertter) Childress, and other family and friends. He was a talented musician, always willing to lead the family in song. He also enjoyed camping in the mountains of Western Maryland, particularly Green Ridge State Forest, where he would test his fishing, pretend to be hunting, and ‘be one with nature’. Always one for watching and feeding birds, bunnies, and the local deer, Gary would oftentimes engage in long chats with his younger brothers Bruce P. Ertter and Timothy J. Ertter. He always stopped by daily to visit Mom and share a story and a treat in return for a glint in her eye and a warm hug, enjoying deeply those thoughtful moments of care and connection with his mother as the gentle (and favorite!) son that he was.
One thing you could set your watch by were his regular long walks back to the Rocky Gorge Reservoir or Supplee. Gary loved foraging for wild mushrooms, cooking traditional family recipes, and we could count on Gary to bring eggnog and unique holiday creations to every Christmas gathering. He enjoyed sharing his knowledge of nutrition, nature, and music with anyone who shared those interests -- just to grow his hobbies and spend more family time.
One of Gary’s favorite ways to connect with some of us was to share a song that he had discovered that made him happy. This sibling is grinning as she remembers the times that he insisted that she look up, and play over and over, for both of them, while on the phone, some odd tune that made him so happy. Gary had good taste in music that genuinely made him (and others who were fortunate enough to get a call/text) happy.
The family so appreciated that we could always count on Gary to lead our family in Christmas carols, and most importantly, perfectly harmonize the ‘5 Golden Rings; It was an endeavor, but Gary pulled it off. He had such a warm singing voice, and it was spotted as such, way back when he went to Laurel summer camp when he was only a kid.
Gary is fondly remembered by his nephews David, Allen, and Richie for fishing, hunting, & cooking tips, explaining the importance of safety rules and very fun memories of snazzy new socks for Christmas. Both of his nieces, Amanda and Cynthia, and nephews Ben and Joel enjoyed Gary’s interest in their accomplishments and those stories about their dad, Tim. Nephews Philip, Sam, and Jonah enjoyed Gary’s jokes and family stories about their mom, Lisa.
Gary was preceded in death by his beloved father and mother, ‘Jim and Lou’, and baby brother ’Tim’. He is survived by his loving brothers Ken, Keith, and Bruce, and sisters Cecelia and Lisa (husband Robert Childress).
He had hoped to build a retirement cabin in the hills of West Virginia. We will always remember him as a gentle soul who shared his love of music and helped all those who knew him toward a better appreciation of the beauty of nature and simple living.