BEULAH — Lawrence Otto Garber passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on July 26, 2013, after a courageous battle with esophageal cancer.
Larry was born on April 4, 1933, in Muskegon to Frank and Ellen Garber. He attended school in North Muskegon. He graduated from Albion College where he met his future wife, Martha Doty. They married in 1956. Larry graduated from Wayne State University Medical School in 1959, followed by an internship in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a fifth-generation Garber physician.
Larry joined the Army in 1960 and was stationed in Poitiers, France, as a Captain overseeing a medical unit. He returned to Detroit and completed an obstetrics and gynecology residency at Crittenton Hospital. Larry was the first OB/GYN in Cadillac and delivered over 6,000 babies. He loved being a part of this special time in his patients’ lives. While in Cadillac, Larry was Chief of Staff at Mercy Hospital for many years and served on the Cadillac School Board.
Larry grew up on Muskegon Lake in a family of avid sailors and was sailing alone at age seven. Wanting to instill that love of sailing in others, he bought a marina in Cadillac where he and Martha and their children taught sailing lessons and raced Sidewinder sailboats. He ordered one of the first production Windsurfers and enjoyed windsurfing into his 70s. Larry crewed in the Chicago-Mac and Port Huron-Mac sailboat races for 15 years.
In 1988, Larry and Martha pursued their lifelong dream of living aboard a cruising sailboat. They sold their home in Cadillac and spent 10 years cruising their Bayfield 36 in the Caribbean Sea, including the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Venezuela. During this time, Larry spent half the year volunteering as a physician in the Indian Health Service in Montana, Arizona and New Mexico.