My name was Bruce Garlow. Long in Becket but recently of 45 Paul Dr. Lee, I died at 72 due to complications of kidney disease on Friday, April 23, 2021 at BMC. Not quite what I planned when I moved into our new home only 7 months ago, but there you have it.
I started this obit two years ago when my health became a little sketchy and I got to thinking perhaps I should be getting my things in order. Thankfully order was achieved and is now in the trustworthy hands of my son Eric, who shared my life and home for the past dozen years. My brother Tamarack said he would finish this notice when it came time, but beware, I'm no longer around so I didn't get a chance to edit this!
I was born January 23, 1949, in Brooklyn, NY and was the son of the late Lester C. Garlow and Alice V. Garlow. I grew up in Lansing, MI, was a graduate of Lansing Everett High School and Lansing Community College and worked at the U.S. Postal Service prior to moving to Berkshire County in 1976.
My greatest interest and my best gigs concerned local government and community. I retired after 20 years as town administrator in Richmond, where I also worked as conservation administrator. I also put some time in as administrator for the town of West Stockbridge and as interim administrator in Lanesborough, and had consulted for the law firm of Bernstein, Cushner & Kimmell, PC concerning municipal affairs. I also served as a district aide for former Rep. Christopher J. Hodgkins, managing his district office in Lee in the 1980s.
Due to a loud voice, pretty good diction and a desire for fairness and order, I served as the long time elected town moderator in my home town of Becket and had been secretary of the board of the Massachusetts Moderators Association. For my passion and for doing a tolerably good job in small town government, I was elected chair of the board of the Small Town Administrators of Massachusetts, and became a member of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions, which generously awarded me its conservation administrator of the year award in 2001.
In earlier years I was a board member of the Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority, co-chairman of the Berkshire Advisory Committee to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, a member of the MCAD state advisory board, and served on many local and regional governmental committees, commissions and task forces.
I had also been a longtime Democratic party activist, having served on the Monterey, Gt. Barrington and Becket Democratic town committees, respectively, while living in those towns. I worked on several political campaigns and was a delegate to most of the Democratic state conventions during the 1980s and 1990s.
Never one who failed to have something to say or be shy about his opinions, I had also been a columnist for the Berkshire Courier, the former Gt. Barrington weekly newspaper, the Berkshire Record, a current Gt. Barrington weekly, and the Berkshire Beacon, a former Lenox weekly. I edited Becket, Massachusetts: From Colonial Township to Modern Town, a history published in 2015, the year of the town's 250th anniversary, was a former board member of WAM Theatre, and a longtime member of the Central Berkshire Fund, an advisory committee of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.
In addition to my zeal for politics and my years of community activism, I had a love affair with words. I frequently wrote and performed poetry, often through Pittsfield's Word X Word Festival and at Deb Koffman's In Words - Out Words in Housatonic. I was also drawn to write poems for family and friends and for special occasions like retirements, birthdays and memorial services.
I was predeceased by my wife of 28 years, Leslie Rudolph-Garlow, who died in 2008, and my daughter Lisa L. Garlow who we lost at the age of 48 in September 2020. I'm survived by my beloved son Eric J. Garlow who shared my home in Becket and later Lee, and by my brother and best friend Tamarack Garlow and his partner, Annie Brody in Canaan, NY, a nephew, Jakob Garlow-Kent of California, a niece, Malika Kent Limon, and her whole wonderful family of Housatonic, and many cousins.
We don't need another funeral, there's already been enough of those lately, so we won't be having one. Instead there will be one heck of a memorial party later in the summer. Stay tuned for an invite. Also in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in my name to the Berkshire Humane Society, 214 Barker Rd., Pittsfield, MA 01201 or the New England Organ Bank, 60 First Ave., Waltham, MA 02451.
Goodbye everyone and be well, it was a little short, but it was a great run!
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Published by The Berkshire Eagle on May 8, 2021.