Harold Ryland Garretson 1930~2021


Harold Ryland Garretson, age 90, of Bendersville and Gettysburg, passed away peacefully on November 24, 2021.

Harold Ryland Garretson
Harold Ryland Garretson

He was the devoted husband of Barbara Keller Garretson for 65 years.

The only child of Ryland and Margaret Blocher Garretson, Harold was born on December 22, 1930 at Gettysburg Hospital and grew up in Bendersville during the years of the Great Depression and World War II.

Harold attended the two-roomed elementary school in Bendersville followed by Biglerville High School. He played the saxophone in the high school band and graduated as Salutatorian in 1948. He went on to Penn State University where he majored in agronomy and minored in horticulture. After graduation in 1952, he returned to Adams County to enter fruit growing with his parents.

Growing up in the same small town, Harold had known Barbara since elementary school. They married in 1956.

Harold was a descendant of Dutch Quaker immigrant John Garretson Van der Hoff who arrived in New Castle Delaware in 1658. Harold’s grandparents, Jacob Blair Garretson and Lizzie Brough Garretson, purchased the Clover Hill Farm on the Bendersville Wenksville Road in Menallen Township in 1905 and built the home where Harold would later live with Barbara and raise their six children.

Harold was a fruit grower for 50 years before retiring in 2002. Fruit growing was Harold’s career and hobby, and he thoroughly enjoyed his time looking after the orchards. The only diversion that could be counted on to make Harold sit down on a Saturday afternoon was a Penn State football game. After retirement, Harold and his wife moved from the Clover Hill home farm to Gettysburg.

A charter member of Knouse Foods Cooperative, Inc., Harold considered it a privilege to have served on the board of directors for 24 years. During his tenure, he served as chair of the farm committee, overseeing the management of six different plots of land, residual from the C. H. Musselman buy out.

A long-time member of the Adams County Fruit Growers Association, he served a two-year term as President in the early 1960s. During a twelve-year period on the board of directors for the Gettysburg Hospital, he served on the Building Committee for a major addition to the main building.

Harold was also a life member of the Masons and Shrine, a life member of the Bendersville Fire company, and he served on the council of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Bendersville.

In addition to his wife Barbara, Harold is survived by his six children, Daniel Garretson and his wife Cathy of Biglerville; Angela Perkinson and her husband Harry of Dallastown; Thomas Garretson and his wife Susan of Boiling Spring; Leslie Baust of Aspers; Bruce Garretson and his wife Susan of Dillsburg; Jennie Gordon and her husband Lee of Little Rock, AR; and his 12 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

Professional services are entrusted to Dugan Funeral Home, Inc., Bendersville. Funeral services will be held Saturday at 11 a.m., December 4 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 126 Church St., Bendersville.

Interment will follow in Bendersville Cemetery.

A viewing will be held in the church from 10 a.m. until the time of services.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that Memorials in Harold’s name be made to the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center, 290 University Drive, Biglerville, PA 17307 or the Alzheimer’s Association, 2595 Interstate Drive, Suite 100, Harrisburg, PA 17110. 

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