Cover photo for William Lawrence Garlitz's Obituary
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William Lawrence Garlitz

July 1, 1942 — April 19, 2024


William Lawrence Garlitz


William L.”Sarge” Garlitz, 81, of Cambridge passed away on April 19, 2024 at UMSMC@Easton after a brief illness. Born July 1, 1942 in Lonaconing, Maryland, Sarge was a son of the late Audrel Ella Hanekamp and Wilmoth Francis Garlitz. He attended Valley High School and graduated with the Class of 1960. He attended Frostburg State College for one year before he decided to pursue his childhood desire of joining the military.

Sarge enlisted in the US Air Force in the fall of 1961. After completing basic training in San Antonio, he went to Air Police School and became an Air Security Policeman and was transferred to Wichita, Kansas. During the Vietnam Era conflict Sarge was sent to French Morocco to secure 29 American B-47’s. He also provided security in Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis before going back to Wichita followed by Topeka and Louisiana. He also served in England and Andrews Air Force base in Washington, D.C.

In 1974 Sarge joined the US Army and the Military Police at Fort Meade providing security for the Generals and Pentagon personnel. In 1982 he received the Army Achievement Medal.

The Air Force lured him back in 1988 and he continued his training at the Security Police Academy at Lackland Air Force Base before he transferred to Dover A.F.B.

From Dover he was sent to Texas to aid in the war on drugs coming in to the US. He handled surveillance under cover in El Paso, Texas, where Sarge was involved in making the largest cocaine bust in the history of the military, confiscating over 54 million dollars’ worth of the drug.

Sarge was recognized as the Security Policeman of the year for the 512TH Security Police Squadron, Dover Air Force Base in 1991. He also received the Air Force Accommodation Medal for achievement during Desert Storm, the Task Force Six Anti- Drug Operation and Hurricane Andrew. Sarge was last stationed in London and finally in Japan before completing his military service with rank of Master Sergeant.

Quoting from an article written in the Daily Times June 16, 2013 – Salute to Veterans – Sarge said “I loved the Military, I just loved it “ 

Sarge was always fond of athletics. As a young man he played basketball, baseball and Soccer. He was very proud of being a member of his high school basketball team that won the State Championship in 1959. He frequently talked about Lefty Grove who was his hometown hero. He had also enjoyed coaching youth baseball.

In addition to his military service Sarge worked at the Thomas B. Finan Center in Cumberland before transferring to the Eastern Shore Hospital Center in 1986. Years after moving to Ocean City he became the Director of Purchasing for the Harrison Group. A position he held for 16 years before retiring.

Sarge was always active in his community. He had been a member of the Boy Scouts, Jaycees, Elks, Lifetime member of the VFW, Sons of the American Revolution, John Smoot Chapter, his Patriot was Casper Durst of Pa.

Presently a member of Dorchester Post 91 in Cambridge and former member of Synepuxent Post 166 where he served as Commander for 6 years and adjutant multiple times.  Also, proudly served as Vice chairman of the National American Legion Homeland/National Security Council for many years.  This year he was chairman of the American Legion National Emergency Fund. Has served as past commander for the American Legion for Worcester County and Past commander of the South Eastern Shore American Legion and a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America.  He was a member of St. Mary’s Refuge of Sinners in Cambridge.

Sarge was also proud of the time he worked with former Senator Jim Mathias in Annapolis in getting bills passed that he considered helping veterans and veteran organizations. They included:

A. Slot machines for non-profit organizations in Worcester County which took over four years before passing in 2011.

B. The bill passed in Maryland Department of General Services to display POW/MIA flags at 26 buildings in Maryland. Sarge fought for this honor for all the POW/MIA veterans and their families.

C. Effective Jan. 1, 2013, veterans are now able to have “Veteran” placed on their driver’s license. Sarge was the first one standing in line at MVA in Salisbury waiting to change his license to accept this privilege that both he and Senator Mathias had fought for. 

Sarge will be fondly remembered as a great father, devoted veteran, one who was very active in his community, a gentleman who loved to tell stories of his life experiences, a man always on time, his special sense of humor, his love for his family and his deep religious faith. "I've had a good run" was his most used phrase....well you certainly did, Sarge.

Sarge is survived by his wife Rosemary “Rosie” (Smith) Garlitz who he married on October 18, 1997.  In addition to Rosie he is survived by his 3 children; 4 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren and a special niece.

Preceded him in his death besides his parents, was a brother Francis L. Garlitz.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, May 3, 2024 beginning 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Refuge of Sinners, 1515 Glasgow Street, Cambridge. A viewing will be held the hour prior to the mass. Officiating will be Father Tim Kruthaupt. 

A committal service will be held at the Maryland Eastern Shore Veteran Cemetery Chapel in Hurlock beginning 1:00 p.m. with military honors. Interment will follow.

In lieu of flowers donations are being accepted for The American Legion National Emergency Fund, c/o The Dept. Of Md., 101 N. Gay Street, Suite E, Baltimore, MD 21202-4033 or any charity of your choice.

Arrangements entrusted to Newcomb and Collins Funeral Home, P.A., Cambridge.



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Past Services


Friday, May 3, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Mary's Refuge of Sinners

1515 Glasgow St, Cambridge, MD 21613

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, May 3, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Mary's Refuge of Sinners

1515 Glasgow St, Cambridge, MD 21613

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, May 3, 2024

1:00 - 1:15 pm (Eastern time)

Maryland Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery

6827 E New Market Ellwood Rd, Hurlock, MD 21643

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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