of Beltsville, Maryland, passed away peacefully at Hillhaven Assisted Living during the evening of May 7, 2019. Gary was born in Norfolk County, Virginia to Richard Dunbar Groff and Laura Jane Groff. Gary was predeceased by his father, known as Dunbar; two brothers, Richard and Glenn; and Gary’s wife Lindsay Linthicum. Surviving relatives include his mother and numerous cousins: Charlotte and Dennis Aldridge of Deep Creek Lake, MD; Ed and Chris Goss of Forest, VA; Jeff and Janet Phillips of Ocean City, MD; Nancy and Mike McIntee of Cambridge, MD; Beth Reed of Cambridge, MD; Janice and Leonard Foxwell of Cambridge, MD; Pat Saddler and Joan Gray of Queenstown, MD; Georgeanne and Lyman Hewins of Leonardtown, MD; Art and Sheila Groff of Seminole, FL; John J. and Jacqui Robinson of Rock Hall, MD; Oliver Robinson of Ocean City, MD; Jack Groff of Lancaster, CA; Jacqueline and Robert Lethemon of Laguna Vista, TX; Steve and Maxine Phillips of Annapolis, MD; Sandy Wander of Albuquerque, NM; and Patrice Toussaint of Colchester, CT.
Gary’s early years were spent doing the average growing boy things, such as swimming and fishing. As a young teen, Gary went flying with his father, usually out of Tipton Airport in Fort Meade. Gary also held a student pilot certificate and was a member of the Fort Meade Flying Club. After graduating from Paint Branch High School, it soon became apparent that Gary had a keen interest in mechanical things. One of Gary’s first jobs was as an automotive mechanic, and he also enjoyed working on his classic Mustang. Much schooling followed to take advantage of a desire to learn air conditioning mechanics and troubleshooting. These skills led to employment at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD where Gary provided technical support for all things related to heating and refrigeration within the very large APL campus. After many years at APL, Gary left to establish his own heating and air conditioning business (Groff’s Heating and Cooling), which he managed very successfully while expanding operations and serving many clients in the Baltimore/Washington area. Somehow Gary found time to plant and maintain a small garden in his backyard, and he delighted in giving away his famous tomatoes to anyone who asked. Despite all the demands of such a busy life, Gary gave priority to daily care and visits with his mother, who lived nearby.
As Gary got older, more and more of his time and talents went to assisting others, especially family and neighbors. All those people Gary came in contact with could count on a friendly face and a smile, expert advice, and a job well done if he was doing work for you. His inquisitiveness never abated, and new interests developed in computers and electronics, and in hearing more about our Lord and Savior.
Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, May 14 at noon at Greenlawn Cemetery, 2272 Hudson Road, Cambridge, MD. In lieu of flowers, donations in Gary’s name to Hospice of the Chesapeake, 90 Ritchie Hwy, Pasadena, MD 21122 are suggested