George Andrew Gutches, Jr. 88, of Adamstown, MD, and formerly of Smithsburg, MD, passed away peacefully in the healthcare center of Buckingham’s Choice, in Adamstown, MD on New Year’s Day, due to declining health from kidney and heart failure.
George Gutches was born in Washington, DC, to Alleen Armel Erb of Winipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and George Andrew Gutches, of East Homer, New York.
He attended Fishburn Military Academy and served in the Army Signal Corps during the Korean War. He studied piano at Peabody Conservancy, and entertained many with original compositions and heartfelt renditions of Baroque favorites. An avid sharpshooter, he could shoot a can tossed in the air several times before it hit the ground.
Mr. Gutches received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland and was a full-time professor there before taking a job with the Anne Arundle County department of Social Services in Annapolis, MD, where he met his wife, Mary Louise Flood, who died of cancer in 2009. He retired from Brooklane Psychiatric Center.
He lived at Buckinghams Choice for 19 years, where he was well loved for his sense of humor, prodigious flower and vegetable gardens, piano concerts, and the love, caring, and respect he had for all. He enjoyed painting and fishing, and he had a kind word for everyone who crossed his path.
Mr. Gutches was known for his thoughtful acts of spontaneous generosity, and he taught many about the power of the mind. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1986, and he may be the longest-lived survivor of pancreatic cancer, having lived over thirty years after his diagnosis. He refused radiation and chemotherapy, and used a combination of guided visual imagery, self-hypnosis, trampoline exercise, and carrot and barley grass juice during his recovery.
Mr. Gutches is proceeded in death by his sister, Armel Ester (Gutches) Funkhouser, and his son, George Gutches III,‘Drew,’ who died of a brain aneurysm. He is survived by two daughters, Marie (Gutches) Erb of University Park, MD, and Beth (Gutches) Nickerson, of Thurmont, MD, as well as two grandchildren, Silas Nickerson and Ayla Nickerson, and his nephew’s daughter, Armel (Funkhouser) Lazero, of Baltimore, MD, and her three children, Maya Lazero, Jet Lazero, and Nova Lazero.
He requests no service.
Remembrances of George can be made on the J.L. Davis Funeral Home website, www.jldavisfh.com. Donations can be made in his honor to Heartly House, Inc., P.O. Box 857, Frederick, MD 21705-0857 or www.heartlyhouse.org.