BY RICHARD RHINEHART
Arlington, Virginia, January 9, 2012: Perhaps Face of America rider Geoffrey Moulton said it best. “Cancer did not win,” he said of this morning’s unexpected passing of Corporal Jim “Seamus” Garrahy, “He simply ran out of time.”
One of World T.E.A.M. Sports most dedicated supporters; Corporal Garrahy opened his Black Horse Tavern Road farm at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania each spring to participants of the annual Face of America ride. At first hosting the launch of the ride, beginning in 2008, he hosted the memorable post-ride “steaks and beers” lunch and celebration for the hundreds of participants and their families of the 110 mile ride from Washington to Gettysburg.
“All of us at World T.E.A.M. Sports send our deep condolences to Seamus’ wife and family. For years, our organization has had no finer friend and steady supporter than Seamus,” said World T.E.A.M. Sports President, Paul Bremer. “We will miss his happy face as he watched hundreds of riders work their way up that last hill to his house in Gettysburg on our annual Face of America ride honoring the nation’s wounded warriors.”
“It has been a privilege to have known Seamus Garrahy,” said World T.E.A.M. Sports Chairman and founder James Benson. “Our organization is greatly indebted to him for his strong support of Face of America and the honored Americans who participated in the annual ride.”
“We will all mourn the passing of Seamus as he was a great American,” said Jeff and Kabao Messner, who directed World T.E.A.M. Sports in 2009 and 2010. “Many of hope us to earn ‘our Wings’ while on Earth but Seamus earned both many Stars & Stripes; plus his Wings. He was a dear friend to so many and a key person in the spirit of Face of America. We will miss him but never forget him! Our hearts and prayers go out to Linda Bell and to Seamus.”
A Marine Corps veteran, Corporal Garrahy designated his beloved Gettysburg farm as “Marine Barracks, Gettysburg.” Following his retirement from active duty in 1968, Corporal Garrahy turned to business, creating and marketing nationally well-liked fudge and other food products. More recently, he created and managed the popular and influential “All Hands” email newsletter, distributed weekly to more than 3,500 active and former duty Marines, friends and supporters worldwide.
Corporal Garrahy and his wife Linda Bell also hosted annual Battlefield Professional Military Education camps for Marines at his farm. Each year, 2,000 to 4,000 active duty Marines and other active duty service professionals came for military training at the historic battlefields of Gettysburg and a camp out affectionately called “Steaks and Beer.” Participants of these camps were encouraged to participate in the evening campfire and “telling bad jokes, swapping lies and trading Marine Corps lore,” said Corporal Garrahy in a February 2011 email message. “A lot of salty Marines have told me that this was the best night they ever spent in the Marine Corps. This is what makes it worthwhile for Linda and me to continue opening our home to Marines year after year.”
Well-connected in business and the military, Corporal Garrahy often called upon his colleagues to provide assistance to make a worthy event a success. They always responded without hesitation, as did everyone to the Corporal’s call to action.
In mid-September, 2011, over two dozen volunteers participated in “Operation Giving Back,” a weekend home makeover of Corporal Garrahy’s outdoor patio and landscaping. Volunteers constructed a new patio walkway, installed new grills and picnic tables, and completed other yard cleaning tasks.
Semper Fidelis, Corporal. Your contribution to America, and to World T.E.A.M. Sports, is well appreciated.
A memorial service and celebration of Corporal Garrahy’s life will be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, 825 College Blvd., Ste. 102, Oceanside, CA 92057 or the Adams County SPCA, 11 Goldenville Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325. Online obituary and condolences may be made online at the Monahan Funeral Home in Gettysburg.