Funeral Announcement for Past Fire Chief Garyton (Gary) C. Echols, Jr.
It is with the deepest of regrets that the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department announces the passing of Life Member/Past Fire Chief and President Garyton “Gary” Echols, Jr. Arrangements are as follows:
Thursday, November 1, 2018 Arehart-Echols Funeral Home 211 St. Mary’s Avenue La Plata, MD 1300 hrs to 1500 hrs
Evening Viewing La Plata Volunteer Fire Department 911 Washington Avenue 1800 hrs to 2000 hrs Firemen's Prayer at 1900 hrs
Service Friday, November 2, 2018 Sacred Heart Catholic Church 201 St. Mary’s Avenue La Plata, MD 1000 hrs
Interment St. George’s Catholic Church Cemetery 19199 St. George's Church Road Valley Lee, MD
St. George’s Catholic Church, Immediately following the internment
Any department wishing to bring apparatus for the procession, please contact Assistant Fire Chief Ryan Sekuterski for your assignments.
Assistant Fire Chief Ryan Sekuterski (301) 542-7264
It is with profound sadness that the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department regrets to announce the passing of Life Member/Past President and Fire Chief Garyton “Gary” Echols, Jr. Chief Echols passed away on Friday, October 26, 2018. He joined the Department in 1959 and served in many elected offices, to include President, Vice President, Board of Directors, Treasurer, and Chief. He also served on several committees which included Apparatus, House, Renovation and Addition to Charles Street Station. Chief Echols was also instrumental in the development and training of many first responders in Southern Maryland as a MFRI Instructor. His dedication to the Department over the years is evident in the first-class quality of officers and members within our department.
A well-respected member of the fire department community, Chief Echols served on many committees that impacted the fire service at the local and state levels. He was instrumental in helping to establish a fire tax in Charles County to provide financial support for volunteer departments. He also served on the Charles County Board of Fire and Rescue for several years. He served as President, Delegate, and Delegate of the Executive Committee for the Charles County Volunteer Firemen’s Association. He served as Chairman of the MSFA Executive Committee.
In addition to his fire department service, he served more than 30 years as a member or Chairman of the La Plata Planning Commission. He consistently promoted fire safety in land development, including water supply, road width and layout, and building regulations to include commercial and residential sprinkler systems.
Chief Echols received the Samuel C. McCarthy Award (LPVFD award for Outstanding Performance of Administrative Duties) in 1996. He received the LPVFD Firefighter of the Year Award in 1972-1973 and 1973-1974. He also received the Thomas W. Wright Award (CCVFA Fireman of the Year). Chief Echols was inducted into the Maryland State Firemen’s Association Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Southern Maryland Volunteer Firemen’s Association Hall of Fame in 1987.
Chief Echols was a dedicated family man and close friend to all. He is survived by his dear friend Martha Ann McKean; four daughters, Mary C. Lindamood, Nancy Lee Turnbeaugh, Barbara Moffatt-Gill, and Tessa Echols-Henderson; two sons, Garyton Echols III and David Echols; eleven grandchildren; three great grandchildren; and his FDLP brothers and sisters. Chief Echol’s quick wit, humor, and honest leadership will be greatly missed around the firehouse, along with his willingness to help anyone in need.