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Garin Andrew Reetz

January 3, 1956 - March 22, 2020

Garin Andrew Reetz passed away Sunday, March 22, 2020 with the wind in his face, doing one of the things he loved, riding his bike.

To categorize Garin’s time among us as, a life-well-lived, is to undersell his vigor in taking on new tasks and old passions. Whether it was the opportunity to sail, bike, cook, listen to and play music, savor a glass of red wine by a campfire, or just talk to you, he would absorb each pursuit and pleasure into his soul. If you were in his presence for any such opportunity, you’d gladly go along knowing that a special memory was about to be created.

Any sunset that was within striking-distance held a permanent spot on Garin’s daily to-do list. By foot, or bike, or tractor, or car he’d get to a pre-planned viewing spot to soak up the final rays of the day.

Born January 3, 1956, there was little downtime on his personal agenda. From his youth and the earned scars attained following in the wake of his older brother, to his brotherly verbal tussles with his sister (each of them holding their own with wit and laughter), or his “you-stand-in-goal-while-I-take-shots-on-you” sports “mentoring” directed at his younger brother, the tightest bonds of the Reetz kids always had Garin at the center.

Sports and fitness marked each stage of Garin’s life. Soccer, skiing, lacrosse, biking, tennis, running -- just about anything to move or do or catch or just get the blood flowing -- he’d say yes to. Staying fit was how he lived the life he valued. And he shared that as a youth soccer coach and ski instructor and biking hundreds of miles to raise money for cancer charities.

When considering any stopping point on his career path, Garin knew that too many among us are ruled by work or see it as drudgery.  He found a shortcut around any such “ball and chain” commitments: he made sure whatever the task, if the result could make even the smallest difference for the world, then he’d commit himself as though people he loved depended on the outcome.

His perfect career match came as a Litigation Technologist with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Texas, Eastern District. A litigation technologist serves in the courtroom as master of all evidence central to a trial. For Garin, serving the work of the best-in-the-business while pursuing justice and taking down the worst-of-the-worst, was how he stood for what is right and against those who were wrong. It was the way he carried himself when preparing for every case, and how he’d extended himself with every ounce of the honor he felt standing with his colleagues to serve the nation. Garin and his team were nominated for numerous awards and received the equivalent of the Oscars of the Department of Justice world.  In 2014, Garin took home the gold when he was presented a Director’s award for Superior Performance from Attorney General Eric Holder and the Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.

To those who knew him even casually, Garin was a magnet for attention because he radiated friendship and love.  No summary of his life is complete without mention of laughter and depth of friendship. Over the years, Garin proved an able marksman when giving family and friends a ribbing and the target of his jokes. Like the true man that he was, he was a master of the rare art of self-deprecating humor, aiming his best jokes in his own direction…deftly saying something about himself to instantly put everyone around in stitches until stomachs hurt and tears flowed. For family, friend, and acquaintance alike, he was also the one you would seek out for his quiet counsel through a difficult time.

Central to his existence were his boys Shannan and Dylan. From the moment they came into his life, he was on a mission to let them know of his undying love. For him, such commitment was pure, unquestioned, and immeasurable. His parents, siblings, and their families and friends all shared the same top rung of his ladder of attention and passion for knowing about their lives.

Those who knew him through even a single encounter carry the essence of what it means to have an instant friend. Like the final rays of the sun he’d chase to cap off his day, such a glow remains, whether we see it or take solace in knowing that somewhere there is a ridge where we will someday meet his glow.

Garin Andrew Reetz was a gentleman and a gentle man. Forever he is ours.  He would want others to make someone laugh today and catch the next sunset.

Garin is survived and will be forever missed by his boys Shannan Gruber (and wife, Kacy) and Dylan Reetz; siblings David, Sarah, and Allan, (along with their spouses; Regina, Herb, and Susan); and his nieces and nephews Alyssa, Benjamin, Aleksandra, Caroline, and Grace. He is predeceased by his loving parents Donald and Priscilla (Doner) Reetz.

A simple celebration of his life will be planned for early summer, if possible.

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions In Memory of Garin Reetz to his favorite non-profit, eclectic radio station WMVY ( and Sea Legs Adaptive Sailing Program at

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I am so sorry to hear of Garin's passing. We were teammates in high school on the soccer team. He was cocky and self assured! I remember he was easy to laugh, smart and witty. I was always impressed with his general presence. I really did not know anything about his life and so appreciate reading about it from Gary's perspective. My respect goes out to the family. I love Sarah Reetz and hope there is something positive that can come from this over time. I am sorry. Both Susan and I will be thinking of Garin's family. With much sympathy, Kregg Moyer
Kregg Moyer, April 3, 2020 Garin and I were friends in Canandaigua, Class of '74 and in Texas. I told his brother Al we were lucky to get out of many scrapes over the years. My love to Garin's brothers and sister. To all of you, your parents were great people, and Garin (and you) reflect their intelligence and great hearts. Garin was quick, caring, athletic and razor-sharp. I don't ever recall us calling each other by our first names, only last names, Reetz and Stewart. Maybe we didn't like our first names. :) I used to hitchhike from Boston to Cobleskiill or Potsdam to see Garin, and he would often visit me in Boston, where he was a bad influence in the 1970s.:) Garin and I were the same age by a six weeks. In some ways, I am happy for him that he passed doing what he loving doing. The man lived. Gary Gary Stewart, April 2, 2020 What an excellent testament to a life well-lived! I had the privilege of working with Garin at the U.S. Attorney's Office and can attest to his essential role in every trial I was lucky enough to try with him. He had an amazing ability to see the issue, recall the evidence, and create a graphic on the fly that was critical to securing justice. While his amazing trial advocacy skills will be missed, it is his character, personality, and friendship that will be missed the most. His door was always open and he was ready with an uplifting word or funny observation. A true gentleman in every sense of the word. It was truly an honor to know Garin. Lesley Brooks, March 31, 2020 Dear Sarah, Herb, & the entire Reetz Family: I just found out this news while checking the daily emails, & I'm so, so sorry to learn this news. My condolences are with you, Sarah, & all your siblings, & their families. I will be in touch in a more formal way soon. Rick also sends his comforting thoughts. Thinking of all of you at this difficult time. Love & Prayers, Karen Karen A. Castellano, March 24, 2020