Wednesday, September 11th, 2019
Colleagues mourn Garman
By Tom Stankard
MONTEZUMA - Area residents are mourning the loss of Montezuma Mayor Randy Garman, who died unexpectedly on Sunday afternoon at the age of 62.
Many considered him a good friend, co-worker, council member and mayor who had a go-getting attitude and infectious sense of humor.
He had served either on village council or as mayor for the past 40 years, according to his obituary. Past and present council members praised his dedication to the village.
Council member Steve Fortman said during the past 10 years that he has served the village, though they didn't always agree on how to approach a problem, he thought Garman always had residents' best interest at heart.
"He looked out for everybody in the village," Fortman said. "He probably knew more about the village than any other person in the village."
Fortman has lived in Montezuma for 35 years and said he always thought Garman was a nice guy.
"I always liked him and never had any trouble with him," he added.
Garman took it upon himself to make the community a better place to live, former council member and current fire chief Lee Braun said, adding Garman played a large role in securing funding for a $425,000 project that included reconstructing many village streets and alleys.
"I think he did a good job and did anything he could to help anybody," he said.
When seats became available on council, Garman went out of his way to find people to fill them. Council member Monica Springer said Garman persuaded her and her husband, Derrick, to join and help improve the community.
"He told me that I could help be the voice of Montezuma residents, that I could help make changes and improvements to the neighborhood," she said. "I enjoy knowing the goings-on of the community and being a part of it."
Although Monica Springer said she had known Garman for only a couple of years, she said he "had been a pillar in the community."
"You can tell he has pride in the community. He knows the history of the village itself as well as the people, both those that have come and gone," she said. "If there are issues within the community, he does his best to take care of those issues and resolve any problems that come along. He cares, not only about the community but the people in it."
Springer said Garman was a good guy and a good neighbor who was friendly, always laughing and always cheery.
"He was taken too soon, and I pray his family find comfort since his passing," she said. "We not only lost an upstanding community member but a neighbor and friend."
Derrick Springer said he has known Garman for as long as he can remember and looked up to him.
"He and his family have always been my neighbors. He gave to the village selflessly, and that in turn inspired me to try and do the same," he said.
He has a lifetime of memories and lessons that he has learned from Garman.
"My … fondest memory, is having my neighbor, a mentor and my friend, officiate over my wife and my wedding. It definitely helped out with the wedding-day jitters to have him there with me. He will be missed in my life," Springer said.
Garman worked as a stagehand for D&D Sound Services. Owner Doug Habegger said "Garman was awesome to work with and was a man of his word.
"He had a winning attitude and a sense of humor that made work fun. Rest in peace. Going to miss you, Bud," he said.
Newly opened Shoreline Bar and Grill owners, Ty and Dawn Orick, said they knew Garman for only about 10 months, but he treated them as if they had been friends for years.
"From the start of working on the restaurant in 2018, he helped us get it started. When he came around, he had a smile on his face and asked if there was anything he could do to help. The three of us had ideas on how to improve the village, but due to his untimely passing, we feel short-changed on his time and knowledge. He will be dearly missed by us," Ty Orick said.