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Richard's Story

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Richard E. Garman, 86, died Aug. 19, 2017, in his home surrounded by his loved ones.
He was born in 1930, in Richfield Pa., to Irene and Russell Garman.

He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps immediately after graduating high school at the age of 17, and is a veteran of the Korean War, where he participated in three major engagements: the seizure of Inchon, the capture and securing of Seoul, and the Chosin Reservoir Campaign. After returning from the war, he married Patricia Hetherington and attended Bucknell University. Bucknell awarded him its Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award in 2005, and an honorary Doctorate in 2007.

Richard previously owned ABC Paving Company, a highway and bridge contracting firm; Buffalo Crushed Stone, a construction material supply firm; ESRC, a utility contracting firm; Newbery Alaska, an electrical transmission firm; and Gateway Trade Center, which operated the Port of Buffalo. Despite his wide-ranging business endeavors, what meant the most to Richard was giving back to his community. He believed in giving his time, knowledge, and financial support to numerous local organizations, and did so in a quiet manner, never asking for recognition. In 1996, Richard made the decision, against the recommendation of many advisors, to sell Woodlawn Beach to the state. He felt that the beach should be a public place that people of Western New York could enjoy for decades to come, instead of a private reserve for a few hundred people.

In 2002, he and his wife created The Garman Family Foundation to support the community and transitioned it to the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo in 2016 to ensure Western New York would benefit from its giving in perpetuity. A loyal keeper of his community, he served on the boards of M&T Bank, Merchants Insurance, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Associated General Contractors, Niagara Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Albright Knox Art Gallery. In 1992, he received a citation from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and was later named Humanitarian of the Year by Niagara Lutheran Health Care, as well as Philanthropist of the Year by the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of the United Way.

Richard loved the outdoors and spent many happy days hunting and fishing with his friends, his sons-in-law, and his grandsons. He loved to regale his loved ones with stories of hunting with his dear friend Herb Darling, and greatly enjoyed introducing many others to the wilds of Alaska through regular annual trips there.

Richard is preceded in death by his wife Patricia. He is survived by three children: Michelle (Gerald) Parrish, Kathy Gleason, and Melissa (Allan) Baumgart; two sisters: Bernice Graf and Janet Shirk; ten grandchildren: Kerry (Brad) Weber, Jason (Jennifer) Ziccarelli, Joshua (Stephanie) Ziccarelli, Justin Parrish, Jennifer (Patrick) Adams, Lindsay Gleason, Robert Gleason, Lucas Baumgart, Clayton Baumgart, and Gabrielle Baumgart; four great-grandchildren: Kayden, Wade, and Ella Ziccarelli, and Finn Adams; along with
his constant companion, Tess.

There will be no prior visitation. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 26, at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo at 10:00 AM. Friends invited, please assemble at church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Western New York Chapter of the Alzheimer's
Association. Online condolences may be shared at www.woodfh.com
Published on August 21, 2017
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