In Memory

David Garretson

West Lebanon, NH- David Garretson, 73, died, Tuesday afternoon, November 22, 2016 at his sister’s home, surrounded by his family. David was born June 27, 1943 in Syracuse, N.Y., the son of Albert Henry and Agnes Phillips (Ernst) Garretson.

He grew up in Ethiopia, attending the Sanford Primary School in Addis Ababa. His family moved back to the United States in 1957, where David graduated high school from Friends Seminary in Manhattan, NY. He went on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree from McGill University in Montreal, Que. and his Master’s from Tufts University in Medford, MA.

He served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in Niger, Vietnam, Thailand and Fiji. In 1974 he went to work for the University of Maryland Overseas Program. While living in Songtan, south of Seoul, he taught for UMUC in the Far East mostly in Japan, the Philippines, and Korea, as well in Kwajalein, Diego Garcia and Australia. He left Korea in 2015 after his illness had advanced and moved to New Hampshire to stay with his sister.

During his years teaching his views were frequently sought by journalists writing for the Stars and Stripes in the Far East. Upon his retirement in 2016 he was granted Emeritus Status by the University of Maryland, and presented with a plaque with words of fulsome thanks and appreciation for his forty-one years’ unparalleled service to the Far East Division of the College.

He is survived by his brother Peter Garretson and spouse Rufina Alamo of Tallahassee, FL, his sister Deborah Garretson of West Lebanon, NH. and his brother Ronald Maddox, and his spouse Betty of Herndon, VA., and their many children and grandchildren.

Burial will take place in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Front Royal, VA. Condolences may be expressed in an online guestbook at . In lieu of flowers, the family requests you send donations to the Hospice of Sunapee N.H. Knight Funeral Home in White River Junction assisted with arrangements.

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12/06/16 10:14 AM #1    

Robert Bolland

So sorry to hear about this. I knew Dave from numerous assignments, primarily Okinawa, but several other sites as well during my FED run. A fine gentleman all the way around. I recall once while in a Kadena BOQ, having a room next to his, seeing his room open for maid service and observing an unbelievable amt. of newspapers, journals, et al, stacked up all over his room. Dave really kept up w/ his field literature. I truely miss him.

12/07/16 03:52 PM #2    

Ronald Schlundt

We were colleagues together in the Asian Division (Far East Division) in the mid l970's, and I recall  intelliegent discussions about American politics during the Ford and Carter administrations (a long time ago).   There are many good memories, for sure.   He will be missed    Ron Schlundt 


12/07/16 04:37 PM #3    

Christine Kikuchi

David Garretson was Mr. Korea. It was a sad day when he had to leave UMUC  Asia and a sadder day when he died.

12/07/16 09:32 PM #4    

Jan Sacherer (Turner)

Dave was the quintenssential old school Maryland professor. He had been around seemingly forever and could advise you on anything you wanted to know about the university, Korea, Asia or international relations in general. He was also legendary for his heroics in getting to his classes no matter what the conditions. He came to Okinawa to teach a few times and I saw him at UMUC functions in Korea and Tokyo where we ended up talking for hours. He was an old school eccentric and maybe if he had been less hardworking and less informed, he would have fallen out of favor eventually. The fact that he continued on as a quirky and colorful UMUC character always gave me faith in the institution. He was truly one of the more memorable people in an institutuion full of them.

12/08/16 12:02 PM #5    

Timothy Maga

Fresh from McGill University, and wearing my McGill University jacket, I remember walking into the Osan AB Exchange in 1982.  There, with an ear-to-ear grin, was David (as opposed to Dave) Garretson.  He had been a McGill guy too, I quickly learned, and we bonded for years.  He was the ultimate "been there/done that" person, always on top of his game, loved both Korea and the mission of the University of Maryland in Asia/Pacific, and was a masterful classroom performer.  He was also there for me for decades, and I won't forget that friendship. 

12/08/16 10:56 PM #6    

Dennis Gwynn

Close friend and colleague David was always there for me.  He was all that can be asked of in a friend and much more.  No one knew more things than David, and they were useful things that we should know.  His advice made possible my survival for so many years.  I owe him greatly for that.

David was a great traveler, and because of that a great teacher. I saw him in the Philippines on a free around the world flight on his accumulated frequent flier miles.  He was even in Berlin to be there to see the wall came down. He experienced events that others only read about.  I am grateful for the adventures we had. 

I'm very glad that I visited  David, Frank and Gary in Korea  two years ago.


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