Mr. Robert T. Getman

August 21, 1932July 12, 2013

Old Lyme - Captain Robert Tracy Getman - It is with heavy hearts that the family of Robert Getman share with the world that he passed away peacefully at the age of 80 at his home with his loving wife, Marilyn Rubitski Getman and his devoted family by his side on July 12, after an extraordinarily courageous and graceful battle with cancer.

Robert (Bob) was born on August 21, 1932 in Westport, CT the son of the late Tracy Fayette Getman and Annabelle Whitney Getman. The family moved to Ilion New York where Bob was raised with his younger brother, David, who predeceased him.

It was in Ilion where Bob met and married Diane Luke Getman, also of Ilion on August 18, 1956. Bob and Diane enjoyed a full and well-lived life together with their 5 beautiful children for nearly 50 years until Diane’s passing in May 2003. Bob found love again and married Marilyn Rubitski on November 18, 2006.

Bob and Marilyn have lived in Lyme since, and have spent their years together traveling the globe, spending time in their homes in Connecticut and Florida and most important to them, spending time with their children and grandchildren

Captain Getman was a graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, in New London, CT, Class of 1954. He began what would become a distinguished 30-year career in the United States Coast Guard.

His first tour after graduation was on the Cutter Mackinac, followed by a stint on the French Frigate Shoals Loran. Upon his return, he was assigned to be in instructor at the Officer Candidate School (OCS) at the Coast Guard Academy.

Bob and his young family moved to Cape May, NJ in 1961, which would become one of the many highlights of his career. He was assigned as the Commanding Officer (CO) of the Coast Guard Cutter, Agassiz.

In 1963 Bob began his first of two tours at the Coast Guard Headquarters (CGHQ) in Washington, DC, as Chief of Personnel Procurement. He was responsible for managing the service recruitment programs for the Coast Guard (CG).

In 1968, following an assignment at the U.S. Naval War College, Bob spent two years as Executive Officer (XO) of the Polar IceBreaker Southwind. During this time he traveled the Arctic and Antarctic, made a seven-month cruise around the world, and crossed every ocean and major geographical coordinate on Earth - one of his most interesting and exciting assignments.

Bob returned to CGHQ in 1970 to the newly created position of Deputy Chief, Office of Civil Rights. He then spent one year in Yorktown, VA at the Officer Candidate School as the Executive Officer and then as Chief Officer before relocating to Connecticut.

Bob was selected to be the Director of Admissions at the CGA in 1975, what Bob considered to be a superb finish to his Coast Guard Career. It gave him the opportunity to plan and implement the Coast Guard’s decision to admit women to the Academy.

In 1984, Bob retired from the Coast Guard after 34 years of service, but he was far from retirement. He spent the next 10 years as Executive Officer of the State Veterans Home in Rocky Hill, CT. Bob made great strides in turning this 400-bed facility into a positive experience for its veterans. He developed substance abuse treatment programs, educational and vocational training, transitional living, employment assistance and other programs to help return our veterans to productive independent living.

During the course of his 34-year career, Bob was honored with two Meritorious Service Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, a Coast Guard Unit Commendation, an Antarctic Service medal, an Arctic Service medal and a National Service medal. He accepted all with great appreciation and humility, even when, in 1977, the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names declared an ice piedmont near the Bowman Coast “The Getman Ice Piedmont,” after he served as EO on the USCGC Southwind during U.S. Navy Operation Deep Freeze.

Bob was very active in the community. He served on the Board of Education, the Harbor Management Commission, the Affordable Housing Association of Old Lyme, the Coast Guard Museum, and various Veterans’ organizations. He was a probation aide and an active parishioner at Christ the King Parish. He developed a number of New London Waterfront events and played a significant role in Opsail 2000. After losing Diane to a very rare and often misdiagnosed type of cancer, Bob established the Connecticut Carcinoid Initiative (CCI), a program dedicated to raising the level of awareness of Carcinoid cancer among healthcare providers in CT. Bob led the group’s members, mostly Carcinoid survivors and their caregivers, in efforts ranging from media coverage and symposiums for physicians to a governor’s proclamation from former Gov. Rowland.

While his dedication to the country and its people was exceptionally noteworthy, his dedication to his family held center stage in his heart. He was a loyal and loving husband, a proud, supportive and exemplary father, and an always present and adoring grandfather, who found a way to be at every birthday, graduation, sporting event and all the special moments in his grandchildren's lives.

Bob loved to travel, and did so extensively. He loved Seinfeld, and always had a crossword by his side.

He is survived and already so deeply missed by his wife, Marilyn, and his five adoring children and their partners: Ashley and her husband, Donald, of Niantic, CT; Scott and his wife, Anita, of Clinton, CT; Shawn and his wife, Mary, of Collinsville, CT; Chris and his partner, Joe, of Provincetown, MA; and Kelly and her husband, Bob, of Severna Park, MD. He is predeceased by his first son, Robert T, II. Bob, “Poppy” will live on through his biggest fans, his proud grandchildren: Kate and Megan, Kristian and Trevor, Emily, Erin and Brennan and Brian and Josh. Through his marriage with Marilyn, Bob is also survived by his 3 stepchildren: Beth and her husband, Brett; David and his wife, Liz; Jen and her husband, Jason. Bob was proud to be “Poppy” to their children: Sydney, Davis, Tabatha, Sadie, Grace and Jonah. Bob also leaves behind his brother-in-law Robert Luke and his wife Betty of Ilion, NY, his mother-in-law, Margaret Leathers of Old Lyme, and many loving nieces and nephews. He also leaves a host of friends throughout the country that will always remember him for his generosity, integrity and his wonderful sense of humor!

While his family and friends would trade anything to have kept him here a while longer, the world is a much more beautiful place because of him. Our husband, our dad, our grandfather, our friend, and our hero, he was the most decent, admirable man we've ever known.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. in Christ the King Church, Old Lyme. Interment will follow in Duck River Cemetery. Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 from 2-4 p.m. and again from 7-9 p.m. at Fulton-Theroux Funeral Home, 13 Beckwith Lane, Old Lyme. Please visit for photos, tributes, directions and more service information.

In lieu of flowers, friends may make a make donation to Christ the King Parish, 1 McCurdy Road, Old Lyme, CT 06371 where the Getman family has been parishioners for over 30 years.


  • Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday, July 17, 2013
  • Calling Hours Tuesday, July 16, 2013
  • Calling Hours Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mr. Robert T. Getman

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


November 11, 2013

Members of the Class of 1950, Ilion High School. Ilion, NY are sorry to learn of the death of their classmate, Bob. There are many friends in Ilion that would be interested in his obituary. He was very active in school, very popular and very active as an alumni , especially during each of our many reunions. If possible, please submit his obituary to our local paper, the EveningTelegram enabling his friends to mourn at their loss. Please accept our deep condolences .We will miss Bob ,a wonderful member of the Class of 1950.

Vonnie Summers

August 6, 2013

I was saddened to hear of Captain Getman's passing. I worked for Captain Getman in the 70's and 80's. Not only was he a great boss, but a wonderful family man admired and respected by all who knew him. My deepest sympathy to the entire Getman family. May wonderful memories bring you comfort and peace in the day's ahead.

Willard "Bill" Getman

July 31, 2013

I am so sorry to learn of my Cousin Robert Getman's passing. While it had been many years since we last met, I know he had a very distinguished career. I knew his late mother, Cousin Annabelle, and enjoyed being with her. My late father, Frank Getman, and his late Father Tracy were first cousins. I thank him very much for his service to our country. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all.


Willard E. "Bill" Getman
Jacksonville, Florida

Mary Grisky Sterck

July 28, 2013

Scott, I am so sorry to hear of your Dads passing. I know you must have a heavy heart. I hope you and your family can find peace.

July 23, 2013

Dear Marilyn and Family,

Please accept the condolences of the USCGC Southwind Association for the recent loss of Captain Robert Getman. He was a unique individual, touched many lives, and will live on in the memories of the USCGC Southwind Association forever.

Edward F. Clancy
CWO-4 (BOSN) USCG (Ret.)

Chairman, USCGC Southwind Associaton
(SNQM to QM1, USCGC Southwind, January 1967 to January 1970)

Richard Bing

July 23, 2013

Although I did not serve with him, Captain Getman's reputation was legend among the crew who did. I offer my condolences.

Richard Bing
EN-3 Southwind 69-71

James Welker

July 22, 2013

Fair Winds an Following seas, many have broken the ice, many more to follow.

WAGB 280 1970-1972

MST2 Ken Marshall

July 22, 2013

Every member of the Southwind's crew knew Commander Getman as a man of great capacity and quality. He taught us all, without even trying, what it was to be a Coast Guardsman. We will never forget him.

Gretchen Stanland-Tucchio

July 18, 2013

Dear Marilyn, You are all in our hearts as we remember Bob. We especially think of Kelly and pray all blessings on her and the whole family. It was also so good to see you and Bob at the LOLMS performance last spring. Prayers and blessings and great affection are with you all.

Stephanie Malone (UNFI)

July 18, 2013


My thoughts and prayers are with your family.