Our family’s team captain, Edwin J. Garling Jr., slid into home on Friday, Dec. 24, 2020, two weeks before his 82nd birthday on Jan. 6.
He enjoyed extra innings for almost two decades before holding steady on third base for weeks. Ed was married for 54 years to Carole Payne Garling who predeceased him in April 2017.
He leaves behind his all-star team of three daughters, Laura Garling Ruckert of North Colonie, Debra Ann Garling of Newburgh and Audra Garling Mika of Bristol, Conn., as well as his beloved grandsons: John Francis Ruckert (26), Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric Anders Ruckert (24), and rookies, first baseman Christopher Joseph Mika (12), and catcher James Edwin Mika (9). He also leaves his brother, Robert, and his wife, Le, of Teaneck, N.J.
Among his many fans, two are in a league of their own: Carol van der Poel of Chester and Judith Murray Weeden of Goshen.
Born in New York City on the Epiphany in 1939, Ed grew up in Teaneck, N.J., and attended Rutgers University.
Ed joined the Army Reserves in 1961 and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in 1967.
A native New Yorker and devoted Yankees fan, Ed traded New Jersey and quickly became a fan favorite in Goshen, N.Y. He worked as senior planner for the Orange County Planning Department where he supervised the county’s Master Plan.
In 1974, Ed founded the Orange County Municipal Planning Federation (OCMPF), serving as its executive director for years.
Ed left the Planning Department in 1978 to work with a real estate development company in New York City. At the same time, he formed Garling Associates, a planning consulting firm that served many municipalities throughout Orange County and the Hudson Valley. Other professional activities included consulting for the Urban Land Institute and teaching planning at Orange County Community College (OCCC) since 1973.
A member of the American Planning Association since 1961, Ed was a certified planner until 2014, when he semi-retired at age 75.
Besides baseball and supporting his Rutgers fraternity, Beta Theta chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi, Ed’s biggest passions were building his city planning business and hitting volunteer homeruns like chairing the Zoning Board and the Rotary Foundation. As a Goshen Jaycee in 1975, Ed chaired the committee to start the Goshen Volunteer Ambulance Corps (GOVAC), which has flourished in its 45 years.
Ed’s other community activities include the Goshen Jaycees, Goshen Rotary, Orange County Community Foundation, Museum Village Board, Goshen Town Village Recreation Commission, Arden Hill Hospital, the Orange Regional Medical Center, and First Presbyterian Church. He was a founding member of the Goshen Drama Company and started Goshen Restoration with Mary Gray Griffith.
Our hero now lies in the Hall with the other immortal greats. He will be most remembered for boasting the humor of Berra, the stature of Ruth, the spark of Mantle, the dignity of DiMaggio, the endurance of Gehrig, the work ethic of Mattingly, and the grace of Rivera.
Since there’s no crying in baseball, the family will host an event to celebrate his life in the spring of 2021. A private graveside service with military honors at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla will precede the party.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ed’s name are welcome to be sent to any of the following: the Goshen Volunteer Ambulance Corps (GOVAC) at 7 New St., Goshen, NY, 10924, The First Presbyterian Church in Goshen at 33 Park Place, Goshen, NY, 10924, the Goshen Rotary Scholarship Fund at 252 Main St., Goshen, NY, 10924, or to any research facility committed to gene therapy.
Arrangements by Smith, Seaman & Quackenbush, Inc. Funeral Home (845-782-8185; www.ssqfuneralhome.com).