On January 20, 2020, Thomas A. Garland, Jr. (aka Bob Orr and the Grand Poobah of the Benevolent and Local Order of Muscle- heads Everywhere, Chapter # 007) departed our world with his family by his side. He was 60 years young.
Tom was pre-deceased by his father Thomas A. Garland, Sr. He is survived by his adoring wife, Laurel G. Garland, loyal dog Natty-Boh; loving mother, Mary R. Garland; devoted siblings, Jeanne M. Garland, Cathy G. Meyers (Greg), M. Teresa Garland (Craig Ward), John X. Garland; seven nieces and nephews, Lily Benjamin, Ethan Meyers, Jesse Matthews, Zachary Matthews, Julia Benjamin, Christian Matthews and Jimmy Garland; as well as aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. His absence has left a hole in the heart of all. His innate sense of humor, intelligence and kindness will be dearly missed.
Tom was passionate about sports, if there was a sport to be played, Tom could play it. He was an avid runner, biker, baseball player, football player, golfer and his claim to fame-lacrosse. Lacrosse got him an All American title and scholarship to college; he then went on to coach youth lacrosse for years. Baltimore born and raised, he loved the Orioles and Colts, Memorial Stadium was his temple. Cooperstown was a vacation every time an Oriole was inducted and finally he took to a new team – Go Ravens.
Tom was a great cook and host, as long as the guests were gone in two hours (earning him the title “two hour Tommy”) - he thought invites should always have an ending time, so people would know when the lights were going out and the bar was closing. This was probably due to his early career in restaurants- Clyde’s of Columbia to start- where he made lifelong friends who still meet regularly as the “Clyde’s-dales” and then as the co-owner of Lucky Ned Pepper’s at the Allview Golf Course, with his father, Thomas Garland, Sr. Unfortunately, like its name sake, the bar got shot from a distance greater than 300 yards by the Columbia Association and died an untimely death.
Tom hated working for others, but luckily he did take on the corporate role temporarily with Diversified Homes as a salesperson, because it was there that he met the girl he was going to marry, Laurie, and got the dog, Sasha Bob-tail, he’d come to adore. But the corporate life wasn’t for such a “my way or the highway” guy and he started his own company, Garland Mortgage. It was a success, as was everything he touched. He retired in 2019, because he could - age be damned.
Tom knew how to live life while understanding what was truly important - living life surrounded by those you love and believing in the “American way”. Keeping family close was his goal off the field. Children were not in the cards, but there were nieces and nephews to dote on and as he was so apt to say the lack of children just meant “more for us.”
He wrote his own rules, he fought authority and always said that we make our own choices, “you made your bed, you lie in it.” If you said it couldn’t be done, he made sure it was done- where there was a will there was a way, even if you almost cut your leg off doing it. When it came to fashion, despite Laurie’s attempts to GQ him, he prided himself on being the “anti-cool,” and won.
There will be no viewing because his family rejected his idea to sit him on the couch with a glass of whiskey in his hand, so that he appeared natural to visitors. He will be cremated and kept in a beautifully crafted box until Laurie decides to toss it because it no longer matches her décor. He always said she had too much stuff sitting around anyway, which is why he couldn’t dust.
Everyone who remembers him is asked to celebrate Tom’s life in their own way; raising a glass of their favorite drink in his memory would be quite appropriate. Tom will be forever remembered for his gentle eyes, his middle finger salute to friends and family, his tender heart, and his loving nature. So, although our hearts are heavy, we will celebrate his life and find comfort that he is in heaven laughing and watching over us.
A Celebration of Tom’s life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 8, at The King’s Contrivance Restaurant: 10150 Shaker Drive, Columbia, MD 21046 (http://www.greatfoodmd.com/directions.html).
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite animal rescue charity. Tom just couldn’t believe that someone could be cruel to a dog.
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