Honoring Erik

Honoring Erik

Honoring Erik

Erik Gutshall

A Message from Erik

Dear Arlington Democrats,

Thank you for all the support that you've given me over these past many weeks as I undergo treatment for brain cancer.  My family and I really appreciate all the kind words and encouragement while I've been dealing with this difficult diagnosis.  As a result of this health issue, it saddens me deeply that I had to announce my resignation as an elected official from the Arlington County Board. 

My family and I will always be grateful to the Arlington Democrats for your unwavering support and enthusiasm for those of us serving in elected positions.  My time in office has been the fulfillment of a dream, and I can't thank you, my fellow Democrats, nearly enough for continuing to inspire me during even the most difficult of times.  I hope that you stay safe and healthy during this current trying situation.

I'm looking forward to more blue victories in all of our futures.  

With deepest admiration,

Erik Gutshall

News of Erik Gutshall’s death from brain cancer is difficult to process. Erik was a true servant-leader who always put the needs of the Arlington community first. Arlington Democrats are grateful for his service and will sincerely miss his voice on the County Board, where he sought common ground and practical solutions for the challenges facing our community. During this difficult time, Arlington Democrats stand with Erik's wonderful family, who are in our thoughts and our hearts.

While a public memorial for Erik is not possible now due to social distancing requirements, we still can express our gratitude for Erik's service and support for his family virtually. Please leave a personal note using the comment field below. Together, we can honor Erik and demonstrate just how much he and his family mean to the Arlington community.

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  1. Bill Anhut
    November 17, 2020 at 13:58

    Erik was my friend. We spoke often about development issues around Lyon Park and Clarendon. We often spoke of issues important to Erik as a County Board Member. Erik was a huge supporter of the Tree Canopy Program and Arlington’s Tree Stewards. Erik helped convince me to become active as an officer of both the Lyon Park Citizens Association and Lyon Park Community Center. I was the Association’s treasurer when Erik was our President, a position I continue to hold. Erik, Renee and their girls are active participants in Lyon Park events and they helped guarantee the successful repayment of the redeveloped community center’s construction loan. My family became an early member of Erik’s business, Clarendon Home Services (CHS). We trust CHS to care for our properties, because we trust Erik and Renee. Erik’s impish grin will remain in my memory to the day I die. I miss you Erik.

  2. Alfonso Lopez
    May 14, 2020 at 17:53

    It has taken me awhile to write something here.

    Erik was my friend.

    Erik was a really great guy. We made each other laugh. We talked about our lives, our families, and our community. We supported each other – on policy, in campaigns, and in life.

    Sometimes life can be senseless and cruel. Especially when it takes a good person – long before their good works are done – far too soon. Thankfully, more often, life – in moments large and small – can be wondrous and beautiful. Erik would say that the most special moments in life are when you can give back to your community or those in need.

    With that in mind, when given the opportunity to show simple kindness or give support… to help a neighbor, stranger or friend in ways large or small… or to give back to your community – I hope you will be like Erik.

    I hope you choose to help.

    I hope you choose to give back.

    He knew that those were the most special moments.

  3. Nicholas Evans
    April 29, 2020 at 15:04

    I always left conversations with Erik both smarter and inspired. As I told friends of mine when he decided to run for County Board, “You will always be able to count on him doing his homework and you will always be able to count on him doing what he thinks is right.” I’m grateful to have known him and to have had the honor of calling him a friend, but there is a massive hole in our community with him gone. It’s on all of us to be our best selves and honor his legacy.

  4. Arlene & Larry Spinelli
    April 29, 2020 at 14:17

    Erik reflected all that is good about Arlington. He was a truly dedicated public servant and his wisdom and leadership will be missed. We hold the entire Gutshall family in our hearts and prayers.

  5. VClark
    April 29, 2020 at 06:25

    Much love and prayers to family and friends for this loss. So much was gained from his life here, so an honor to him thru the wonderful compliments and acts of love.

  6. Rebecca Dick
    April 28, 2020 at 15:24

    In Erik we Arlingtonians had a leader who worked creatively to solve civic problems large and small. We had hoped to have him on our County Board for many years to come, always thinking in new ways about how to address the complex problems we face. He brought to his work intelligence, integrity, and generosity toward all components of our community. We will sorely miss him. My deepest condolences to his wonderful family. 

  7. Dan Steen
    April 27, 2020 at 16:05

    Will always remember Erik fondly as a person and will long be grateful for his service to our community. My thanks to his family for the support for his service. My condolences to his family and many friends.

  8. Diane Ullius & Rhonda Buckner
    April 25, 2020 at 16:34

    We first met Erik when he came to our house years ago to sign us up for Clarendon Home Services. We were struck immediately by his intelligence, his vision, his kindness, and his integrity. Those same qualities carried him through his years of community engagement and public service. May his family and dear ones know that they are surrounded by love and support. He will be missed.

  9. Diane Ullius & Rhonda Buckner
    April 25, 2020 at 16:31

    We first met Eric when he came to our house years ago to sign us up for Clarendon Home Services. We were struck immediately by his intelligence, his vision, his kindness, and his integrity. Those same qualities carried him through his many other roles in community engagement and public service. May love and support surround his family and dear ones. He will be missed.

  10. Glenn Nye
    April 23, 2020 at 13:28

    Godspeed Erik and thanks for serving others. Elected office can feel like a thankless task sometimes until you think about all the people whose lives you touched but will never meet. May thanks to Erik’s family for the support of that service. Best wishes to you for strength during this very difficult time.

  11. Sonia Klein
    April 21, 2020 at 14:47

    Erik’s vision, innovative pragmatism and total dedication to Arlington will be so missed. Renee, thank you for sharing Erik with all of us, you and your beautiful children are in our thoughts. Love and hugs to all the hearts he touched.

  12. Arbora Johnson
    April 21, 2020 at 11:01

    Erik will be missed. While I didn’t know him well personally, as a parent I appreciated his commitment to making Arlington a better place for the future and for specifically helping build bridges between the County Board and the School Board. As an Arlington Democrat, I was deeply impressed by his hands on and compassionate approach to helping small businesses, keeping the character of Arlington intact, and building a more equitable county. My sincere condolences to his wife and daughters.

  13. Betty Hill
    April 20, 2020 at 17:06

    I did not know Erik personally or professionally, but followed closely news in this latest chapter of his life. I’ve read through the comments here written by others. What a legacy! I hope the comments are a comfort to his many friends, family and colleagues, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic when we are limited to words and not hugs.

  14. Miriam Balutis
    April 20, 2020 at 08:08

    I’m so sad that we’ve lost such a talented and dedicated public servant, community leader, and all-around nice guy. For Renee and daughters, you’re in my thoughts and I wish you peace.

    • Monica Beaston
      April 22, 2020 at 14:54

      Erik was an inspiring public servant, dedicated to improving his home of Arlington, Virginia before this devastating loss occurred. Hope this outpouring of appreciation and condolences provide some measure of solace , however small, to his many loved ones.

  15. Natalie Hall
    April 19, 2020 at 20:01

    We all have lost such a kind and dedicated person who gave his all to his wonderfully supportive family and to ARLINGTON. Erik always spoke with knowledge and a deep commitment to serve others. His dedication to housing and women and families in need will serve as examples to all who follow Erik into public service. Such a loss to his family and ARLINGTON.
    Natalie Hall

  16. Joan Mulholland
    April 19, 2020 at 19:47

    What a loss for his family, and for Arlington. His family does not mourn alone. We are with them. May they find peace in these hard times, and may he rest in peace.

  17. Md. Abu Jafor
    April 19, 2020 at 17:54

    We have lost Erik Gutshall and his service forever. His wife, children, and other family members and relatives will suffer the most. His daughters will never find a replacement for their father. Their mom will have to take the additional role of their dad. May they have patience to bear this loss! Erik was still energetic young, and we expected more service and friendship from him. His unexpected early departure is really shocking. Dedication for public service is a tough decision because it takes a huge amount of time from personal life, and the family needs to sacrifice as well. When Erik is away far away, hope his family will be rewarded with better supports in return for his public service. Our hearts bleed to console Erik’s family. May Erik’s soul rest in peace!

  18. Caroline Young
    April 19, 2020 at 08:26

    My husband Richard and I are saddened bu his passing, specially at this time of isolation, which makes it even harder for his wife and daughters. We admired his commitment and work for Arlington, and will miss him. Our thoughts are with his family.

  19. Steve Ferber
    April 18, 2020 at 22:56

    Erik was a dedicated and tenacious leader for the values that make Arlington a hometown I have always been proud of, because of leadership such as his which reflects the goodness, integrity and wisdom of our community.
    Thanks be for such as he !

    Dr. Steven Dwight Ferber, Ph.D. Chemist Howard University
    B.S. Chemist U.Va.
    Yorktown, Swanson, Lee-Reed Student and
    Arlington Native

  20. Geoff Lawson
    April 18, 2020 at 21:21

    I began having trouble walking about a year ago. In the beginning it was not very noticeable but became more pronounced with time. Not long after it started, I ran into Erik, Renee, and two of their daughters while crossing the street in Rosslyn. Erik came up and gave me a big hug and asked me how I was doing. I hadn’t told many people so I don’t know how he knew, but he knew. When I learned of Erik’s cancer diagnosis, I just wanted to go give him a big hug in return. Thank you Erik and Renee for everything you have done and continue to do for our community.

  21. Vivek Patil
    April 18, 2020 at 19:28

    My deepest condolences to the Gutshall family. I am so saddened to hear of Erik’s untimely passing. I fondly remember Erik’s generosity, his passion for public service and his strong commitment to our county. What always struck me about Erik was how deeply he cared, how thoughtfully he advocated and and how kindly he felt for his Arlington community. I was proud that he represented Arlington on our County Board and his gracious presence will be missed. Sending you my thoughts, prayers and hugs, Renee and the girls!

  22. Barbara Kanninen
    April 18, 2020 at 18:53

    Erik was a great friend, a great Democrat, and a great County Board member. He was smart, thoughtful, and caring and worked tremendously hard for our community. Kevin and I will be thinking of his family, his colleagues, and his many, many friends. It’s a profound loss for all of us. Take care, everyone.

  23. Meredith Sumpter
    April 18, 2020 at 09:29

    Erik Gutshall represented the very best in Arlington and the very best in all of us. He was a true public servant, always putting the interests of the community first. Always considerate and purposeful in working with others. He was the kind of person that one naturally gravitated toward in a crowd and wanted to talk to. Steadfast, kind, thoughtful, with a wry sense of humor and a desire to help others. Erik was the consumate servant-leader who had much to be proud of. But most of all, he was proudest of his family. Rarely did I have a conversation with Erik where Renee and the girls did not feature. He treasured the closeness of his family, just as he treasured the community that he worked to build. Erik lives on in his beautiful family, and in the community that he served. We miss him greatly.

    Meredith Sumpter

  24. Framcis Oleary
    April 18, 2020 at 09:18

    A good man who deserved far better. He will be missed.

  25. Amar Zumkhawala
    April 18, 2020 at 07:49

    My condolences to Erik’s family. I regret the sorrowful loss. Erik gave our Arlington a great amount of heart. I guess this isn’t Fortnite where the player just pops back into the game. See you on the other side bro!

  26. Alexandra Ritchie
    April 17, 2020 at 23:24

    While I did not have the pleasure of knowing Erik Gutshall as well as many who served with him or knew him through his important local business and his neighborhood, I always recognized him to be a compassionate visionary, whose calm, thoughtful timbre inspired hope for a better future in Arlington. His legacy dwarfs his short time on Earth, but he did his family and Arlingtonians proud. Let us all now work to carry out his vision and see to it that his family enjoys the full support and love of our community. I have arranged to have 5 trees planted in a U.S. National Forest in Erik’s honor through Trees for Change (https://www.treesforachange.com/) in recognition of his commitment to our environment. I will work with the Arlington Democrats to deliver the framed certificate and card to his family.

  27. Julie Atkins
    April 17, 2020 at 19:29

    Eric had a gentle nature, but he was a dynamic force for the common good of all Arlingtonians. His death is a great loss for all of us.

    My prayers are with his wife and daughters. May he rest in peace.

    • Geoff Lawson
      April 18, 2020 at 21:04

      I began having trouble walking about a year ago. In the beginning it was not very noticeable but became more pronounced over time. Not long after it started, I ran into Erik, Renee, and two of their daughters waking in Rosslyn. Erik came up to me and gave me a big hug. I’m not sure how he knew, but somehow he knew. When I first heard that Erik had brain cancer, I just wanted to go give him a big hug but because of social distancing, I could not. Thank you Erik and Renee for everything you have done and continue to do for our community.

  28. Norman W. Hill
    April 17, 2020 at 18:55

    I remember one of my great two or three sentence conversations with Erik, on the Westover Village flood or 2019. What he said was right. Will pray for Renee and his daughters. May he Rest in Peace.

  29. Mark Levine
    April 17, 2020 at 18:03

    Still stunned to think he’s gone. Erik was likeable, reliable, easy to get to know well, and straightforward about all of his solidly progressive perspectives. He worked hard, cared about details, and followed through. His heart was always in the right place. And he cared. Deeply. Such an incalculable loss to Arlington and to his family. May his memory serve as a blessing to us all.

  30. Jill Birdwhistell
    April 17, 2020 at 17:20

    Our hearts go out to Erik’s lovely family. He was so loving and proud of them. He was taken from us way too soon. Such a marvelous public servant, with great judgment and a deep commitment to Arlington. He is and wills be deeply missed.

  31. Abby Raphael
    April 17, 2020 at 16:20

    I must confess that Erik and I got off to a bit of a rocky start. We both worked on the Western Rosslyn Area Planning Study – he as a member of the Planning Commission and me as a School Board member. Let’s say that we had different perspectives. But Erik was always thoughtful, well-prepared, and respectful to all involved in the process. As I got to know Erik better after that Rosslyn process, I came to understand what a caring, compassionate person he was. His commitment and focus on the missing middle was so important, and that legacy will endure. He loved public service. And I loved seeing his face light up when talked about his daughters. My deepest sympathy to Renee and her family. I’ll miss you, Erik.

  32. Sally HIll Cooper
    April 17, 2020 at 15:18

    Arlington will deeply miss Erik’s articulate, knowledgeable, caring voice – ever focusing on this community. My heartfelt wishes to Renee and their children.

  33. Jonathan Morgenstein
    April 17, 2020 at 15:02

    As Chair of the Environment and Energy Conservation Commission’s Energy Committee, I want to share my deepest condolences to Erik’s family and express my strongest gratitude to Erik for his work on behalf of building a better world for all Arlingtonians. Erik was a good man, and a principled fighter.

  34. ed milton
    April 17, 2020 at 14:28

    My wife and I had the good fortune of meeting Eric when we contracted with his company to perform routine maintenance at our home. It was obvious that Eric was a person of quality and honesty who reflected concern about us as people and not just a customer. He continued to shown these admirable qualities as he served on the county board with concern for all Arlington citizens no matter their residence or status. We wish for Eric’s family during this difficult and trying time some level of peace and comfort.

  35. Dean Amel
    April 17, 2020 at 14:19

    Erik’s combination of intelligence, openness and compassion made him a wonderful political leader, first at the neighborhood level, then for all of Arlington. I’ll miss him as a person and as someone who worked effectively for the long-term good of our community. My condolences to Renee and their daughters.

  36. Sylvia and Paul
    April 17, 2020 at 14:04

    We will Erik for his integrity, kindness, and dedication to his community. We were lucky to work with him on our house renovation years ago and have always had deep respect for his honesty and passion. Our most sincere condolences to Renee and the girls. Please know Erik’s legacy will be honored by so many in Arlington and beyond.

  37. Ineke Lavoie
    April 17, 2020 at 13:35

    I’m so sorry to hear about Erik’s tragic death, my heart goes out to his family.
    My condolences to his wife Renee and their three daughters.
    May he rest in peace.

  38. Julie Evans
    April 17, 2020 at 13:12

    I first met Erik outside my Precinct’s polling station several years ago. It was early in the morning and he was already bright and cheery, ready to shake hands with every voter and warmly welcoming their questions and asking about their families. He always had the true spirit of public service close in hand and will remain treasured by the community. I thank his family for sharing their time with him and send them love and support from the whole community.

  39. Sandra Amendola
    April 17, 2020 at 11:37

    On behalf of the Arlington Ridge Civic Association (ARCA) we would like to extend our deep condolences to the Gutshall family. Erik’s tireless service on the Arlington County Board was a valuable asset. As an active community volunteer, to being a member of the Planning Commission, to County Board Member and Vice Chair, Erik’s thoughtful insight into the complex issue of housing in Arlington will be missed. Indeed, his advocacy for the “missing middle” brought to light the thorny issue of what is affordable housing in the County. Erik listened; he never rubber-stamped solutions. He was always willing to talk to the ARCA Exec Board and ARCA General Membership meetings. He touched many lives and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Gutshall family.

  40. Judy and Frank Stearns
    April 17, 2020 at 11:30

    Erik and I met 11 years ago when I served on the Board of Directors of Doorways for Women and Families here in Arlington. He was the new representative to the Board from the Lion Park community where of the Doorways home is located. I was blown away by his global understanding, clarity, wisdom, vision, and dedication. Eric was able to hone in on the important, the essential, thus making sense of situations, issues, allowing and guiding movement forward. Frank and I were so proud to support his runs for County Supervisor. Erik’s service was marked by his decency, righteousness and loving care. His beloved Renee was such an integral part of his endeavors and commitments as were his 3 sweet daughters. Heartbroken!!!!!!!

  41. Elenor Hodges
    April 17, 2020 at 10:56

    I am so thankful to Erik for his heartfelt passion for the Arlington community, his tremendous warmth and easygoing manner, and his thoughtfulness in creatively approaching issues. My thoughts are with his family. He will be missed.

  42. David Tate
    April 17, 2020 at 10:56

    I not only had the pleasure of supporting Erik’s civic activities, but I also interacted with him as a customer of his home service business. He made the sales call to my house some 9-10 years ago. He spent nearly an hour explaining the business and reviewing my house pointing out how they could provide some service. It was memorable because it felt more like a friend coming over to chat. Honesty and integrity are the two words that just jump to mind when thinking about Erik as both a businessman and a civic leader. He not only lived these values but inspired them in others he worked with. A true loss to the community. He will be missed.

    • Caroline Jones
      April 17, 2020 at 23:18

      The thought of Arlington without Erik is hard to absorb. After 11 years of partnering alongside his devotion and tireless resolve to make lives better, it’s impossible to accept such a tremendous loss for our community.

      In our years together as leaders at Doorways, I could always count on Erik. He was a call away, and waded through water with me until 3am the night our family shelter flooded- and worked diligently for weeks after until families could safely return. Just one example of many of the kind of human being Erik was in caring deeply for our community.

      Above all, I never had an exchange with Erik that didn’t include him sharing a proud story about his girls. His love and awe for them and for incredible Renee shined through in all he did. Loved seeing him coach soccer practices at TJ with his infectious smile!

      You’ll be dearly missed my friend. Renee and girls, please know how much our entire community holds you in our hearts and thoughts.

  43. Sandi Chesrown
    April 17, 2020 at 10:23

    This is such an agonizing loss for all of us in Arlington County.
    Erik was a wonderful person and an extraordinary public servant, both on the
    Planning Commission and County Board.

    His death is hard to believe. The last time I talked to him was at the Plan Lee Highway
    meeting on February 1, after he spoke to the group. He seemed as always – smart, friendly,
    helpful, nice, energetic and so many other attributes for which we were always so grateful.

    Erik touched so many citizens and friends in so many helpful ways. I am deeply sorry that he has left us
    at such a young age and extend sincere sympathies to his family. He is gone but never forgotten.

  44. Patricia Haman
    April 17, 2020 at 10:04

    As we approach the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we are saddened that the earth has lost another champion. Erik cared about his community large and small and wanted to make our community, our country, and the earth the best they can be. May the love he shared with Arlington be returned to Renee and the kids over the days and years to come.

    Pat Haman and Kevin Vincent

  45. Stacy Snyder
    April 17, 2020 at 10:00

    My heart and thoughts go out to Erik’s family and to the entire Arlington community. I knew Erik first as a neighbor and as a co-coach for a co-ed Kindergarten soccer team and then got to know him more as County Board candidate and then as a Board member. He always showed up with a smile, ready to listen and to engage in discussion. His efforts and actions on the Board made Arlington a better place to live for all. He will be missed and always remembered.

  46. Susan Landfield
    April 17, 2020 at 09:56

    Am profoundly saddened that Erik Gutshall has passed away. Erik was such a marvelous role model for all of us. I’m grateful that I had the blessing and honor of getting to know him over the past several years. Renee and daughters are in my thoughts.

  47. Marsha Semmel
    April 17, 2020 at 09:42

    I, too, got to know Erik, first in his role on the planning Commission, and, later, as a candidate for the County Board, and, after his election, the liaison to the Arlington Commission for the Arts, which I have the privilege of chairing. Erik was curious, candid, and committed to the people of Arlington County, and he went out of his way to learn more about any issue, including the arts, in the County. Even more, he organized listening sessions, he attended events, he was “always there” and ready to be of service. He will be deeply missed.

  48. Stuart Scott
    April 17, 2020 at 09:36

    Erik set me on just the right path to pursue an issue with county government. He spoke to us Arlington Dems with energy and commitment on affordable housing last fall. Claudia and I will miss his cheerful determination to help our county move forward.

  49. Vicki Moffitt
    April 17, 2020 at 09:34

    So sorry to hear of Erik’s passing that came way too soon. I am so grateful for his public service and leadership, and for his family’s forbearance of both. My heart aches for Renee and the girls and I hope their happy memories will help ease the pain through this time of grief.

  50. Charley Conrad
    April 17, 2020 at 09:04

    So sad to see this. Erik was a leader and a friend to me. I always enjoyed speaking with him. He gave the best hugs too.

  51. Nancy Iacomini
    April 17, 2020 at 08:54

    Like many of us, I came to know Erik through our shared passion for planning. Over the years I saw that passion grow and mature in him. Erik would engage, listen, analyze, consult – and craft a way forward for which he would advocate adoption and then work hard to implement – because he loved and cared about Arlington – his home, the home of his beloved family and the home of all us.
    His passing leaves a void that may be bridged but never filled. My deepest condolences to Renee and the girls and all of Erik’s many friends.

  52. Carmen Romero
    April 17, 2020 at 08:38

    Erik was the best of Arlington. Devoted public servant, family man and champion for the most important challenges that face our community. What always impressed me working with Erik, his tireless drive to foster dialogue making the outcome better for all parties. No ego with Erik…. his signature smile, kind word of support … he was a humble leader and genuine friend to so many along the way. He will be missed. My heartfelt condolences go out to Erik’s family.

  53. Betsey Lyon
    April 17, 2020 at 08:35

    Erik showed his calm, practical nature several years ago as President of the Lyon Park Citizens Association. There were a few occasions when residents’ rants on emotional issues at meetings tried everyone’s patience and elicited major eye-rolling in the audience. Erik listened patiently, and was usually successful in guiding the conversation back on track. He enjoyed poll greeting for Arlington Democrats on Election Day, and last November committed to a one-hour shift but stayed for nearly three hours. As he extended his hand to countless people and dogs, he often recalled names of both with impressive accuracy. We will miss him as a county leader, but also as a nice guy, who reminded us to catch your neighbor’s eye as they walk by, sincerely ask them how they’re doing, and actually listen when they respond.

  54. Kate Barbee
    April 17, 2020 at 08:13

    It seems so trite to say how sorry I am. Mr. Gutshall led by example and was greatly appreciated.. I hope his family can find some comfort in memories and in know he made a difference. Much love to all.

  55. Lisa Pino
    April 17, 2020 at 07:58

    Erik’s passing is a heart breaking loss for his family and for the Arlington community. It is rare to have a public servant as humble, visionary, dedicated, and as practical as Erik. He was a unique leader both gentle and fierce. He ceaselessly advocated on our behalf and his passion showed easily. My sincerest condolences to his wife Renee and his dear daughters.

    While it is difficult to believe and process how quickly he has left us, Erik will inspire Arlington and Virginia for generations to come. He courageously fought for the long road due to his heart and intelligence. His conviction embodied service, and will be deeply missed.

    At a time when honesty, kindness, and empathy are needed most for our communities to move forward, we owe him the deepest gratitude and thanks, and for his family, our support.

    Rest In Peace Erik. Descansa en paz.

  56. Arthur Schwartz
    April 17, 2020 at 07:45

    I was first introduced to Erik at the Rosslyn Jazz Festival when he first ran for the Arlington County Board. Erik approached me with some uncertainty, but with his plain-spoken friendly manner engaged me on a variety of issues. I was immediately impressed, and after listening to Erik’s thoughts and views, I told him I was confident he would win a seat on the Arlington County Board. Erik’s sincerity always came through. Erik had a vision for Arlington, knew what he wanted to accomplish for the county and was the best kind of citizen-leader. I will miss Erik’s thoughtfulness and honesty. My deep and heartfelt condolences to Erik’s family.

      April 17, 2020 at 07:54

      What an even-tempered and authentic leader he was!—Charlie Clark

  57. Jane Jensen
    April 17, 2020 at 06:46

    I am very very sorry to hear of Erik’s passing. My sympathy to the Gutshall family. It’s a loss for our “village” as well. The times I met Erik I was impressed not only with his good nature but of his true desire to do good work.. In a day when selflessness in public service has become more of an exception than rule, Erik was a true light. He was a valued member of our community and he will be missed.

  58. Norma Kacen
    April 17, 2020 at 06:14

    I am deeply saddened to learn of Eric’s untimely passing. When I first met him at a campaign event, I could feel his authenticity. He gave his time and talent to the County. We are all experiencing a loss. The diagnosis was brutal. That even then he wanted to send a message to us is a testament to his strength.

    I pray that God uphold his family and comfort them.

  59. Keith June
    April 17, 2020 at 05:33

    I am saddened to hear of Erik’s passing. What a great friend and public servant. Erik was some one who understood, appreciated and loved our community. He will be missed. I hope in time we are able to properly remember and memorialize his work. Peace and prayers to his family.,

  60. Carlos Velazquez
    April 17, 2020 at 02:56

    I am sad to hear of his life transition. His leadership will be missed. His willingness to listen and demonstrate concern was always a characteristic to admire in him. He cared about so much.

  61. Greg Zimmerman
    April 17, 2020 at 01:53

    I am very sorry to learn of the passing of Eric. He was truly a caring family man and an energetic community leader for Arlington. Eric’s family is in my prayers.

    • Dale
      April 17, 2020 at 09:52

      Eric was a committed community leader that I first met when he served on my local neighborhood civic association. I had the pleasure of speaking to him about small business issues when ran for and was elected as an Arlington county board member.
      He will be missed and my thoughts and prayers to his family.

  62. Verne W Vance
    April 17, 2020 at 00:46

    I moved to Arlington in 2015 from Newton, Massachusetts, where I served in various elected offices for some 24 years. I met Erik Gutshall in 2016 in the course of registering Democratic voters at Courthouse Plaza. We had a wonderful chat about the various challenges facing local governments, and I was most impressed by Erik. I never met him again but was delighted to support him in his successful campaign for the Arlington County Board. Erik’s untimely death was a great loss to the Board and Arlington. Public servants of his calibre are too rare to lose so quickly. Hopefully his example will inspire others of such calibre to step forward to lead the Arlington of tomorrow.

  63. Soumya
    April 17, 2020 at 00:28

    We are so terribly sorry to hear this news. We met Erik soon after we moved to the area and were immediately inspired by his dedication and clear love for the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  64. Joseph N. Pelton
    April 16, 2020 at 23:36

    Eric was a great force for good and progress in Arlington. His selflessness reminds me of the following apt quote: “To best way to find yourself, is to lose the service to others.” We have lost a person who reflected this sense of service to his family, to his neighborhoo, the Democratic Party, and the Arlilngton Community.

  65. Herschel Kanter
    April 16, 2020 at 23:30

    I am so sorry to hear of Eric’s death. I have known him only since he first ran for the County Board but in those few years I enjoyed dealing with him as a candidate, as a County Board member and as the proprietor of the business that allows me to age in place. He will be missed on the County Board and as a stalwart citizen of the County. We will miss the years of service from Eric to the County that we were contemplating. But of course our loss is nothing compared to the family’s loss. My condolences to Renee and the Gutshall daughters.

  66. Joseph and Eloise Pelton
    April 16, 2020 at 23:29

    Erik Gutshall is one of the few people that I have known and long respected who relentless lived a life that truly embodied the ideal of selfless service to his community. He embodied the principles of service and empathy to everyone he came into contact. His service reminds me of an appropro quote: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others.” Mahatma Gandhi.

    This was truly’s Erik commitment with regard to his family, his neighborhood, the Democratic Party, and the Arlington Community. We have lost a person of great value. Arlington should grieve at his loss, in this time of great grieving. Joe Pelton

  67. Chris Sarampote and Donna Marschall
    April 16, 2020 at 23:15

    I remember feeling so fortunate, as a client of Clarendon Home Services, to have a neighbor who took care of our home as if it were his own. Years later, I was even happier when Erik joined the Arlington County Board, because I knew he would take care of each Arlingtonian as if they were family. Erik worked tirelessly to improve the lives of his neighbors and community and we are so saddened by this news. Rest in peace.

  68. Jean Christensen
    April 16, 2020 at 23:14

    I am so sad we have lost Erik. I was hopeful we would have him with his much longer. I always think of him as campaigning for
    “the missing middle” — the people he wanted to make sure always had a place in Arlington. We will miss his important contributions to the county and its people. My thoughts are with Erik’s wife Renee and their three smiling daughters, and I’ll remember them all supporting their dad in his efforts to make Arlington an even better place.

  69. Adam Parkhomenko
    April 16, 2020 at 22:45

    Erik is and always will be the nice guy that everyone knew at face value to be exactly what you saw: someone who cared who wasn’t a partisan in a very partisan environment and was a true member of our community in a way that was important and much needed in a community that was constantly growing. He was and always will be the roots that continue to grow. I am so saddened by this news. Erik cared in the most selfless way that is so hard to find throughout this country. Thank you, Erik.

  70. Chip Gurkin
    April 16, 2020 at 22:43

    Renee and kids,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. Erik was a good man and did so much for so many. Your family is in our thoughts as you go through this unimaginable time. I hope Arlington can support you as much as you have supported it over the years. I certainly hope to be of any service I can be.


  71. Richard Skinner
    April 16, 2020 at 22:43

    Sherry and I are devastated at learning of the death of Erik Gutshall. He was a great friend and public servant who demonstrated the best qualities that Arlington seeks to achieve. We will miss him deeply.

  72. Margarita (Ari) Brose
    April 16, 2020 at 22:42

    Erik was the impetus for me to participate in Arlington’s rich community/political life – getting involved with his first run for County Board was an opportunity to support him and get to know the Arlington Democrats. I am proud to serve on the Transportation Commission, for which he was our liaison, and for the Complete Streets Commission, for which he was also liaison. But I knew Erik for 20 years, first as a Lyon Park resident, and later as a family friend. His commitment to the County was amazing, always thoughtful, and even if you didn’t agree with him, you had to respect his opinion. He was taken from us too quickly, but may he be an inspiration for others to engaged in public service. May the entire community celebrate his life and mourn his death with Renee and the Gutshall family.

    • Andrew Schneider
      April 17, 2020 at 00:53

      I am grateful that I got to know Erik and proud to have worked for his campaigns. Is it true legacy will be how he conducted himself and his wonderful family. My thoughts are with you all.

  73. Carol B.
    April 16, 2020 at 22:41

    I am so very sorry for the loss of Erik. It is heartbreaking to lose such a hard working public servant. My sincere condolences to his wife and daughters.

  74. Steve Baker
    April 16, 2020 at 22:40

    A dear friend, an immeasurable loss. Thank you Erik. You made Arlington a better place and us better for the experience. Your memory will echo in our hearts.

  75. Ian Nicholson
    April 16, 2020 at 22:40

    So saddened by this tragic loss. But, in time, I’m looking to view Erik’s memory, as Cragg Hines put it, as a blessing to us all. Erik was the first Dem at any level in which I was asked by a good friend to co-host an event (during his first run at a County Board seat). He made such an impression on me; he was genuinely interested in the views and thoughts of others, something every leader should strive for. I’m going to miss his energy, kindness and many other qualities that are too numerous to list. Erik: I’ll be sure to stay in touch with Renee and your family in the weeks and months to come, as those will be the times of greatest need. Rest In Peace, my friend.

  76. Mary Detweiler
    April 16, 2020 at 22:39

    Erik leaves us with a reminder to do with passion what one can in service to others in the time granted to us. We have his example of dedication to the people of Arlington, whom he cared about so deeply, and to the values of our community, which he honored in everything he did. We have all benefitted so much from knowing Erik and having his leadership on what matters most. I’m thinking not only of Erik and our community’s loss, but also of his wonderful wife Renee and their three beautiful and creative daughters. Our community has lost a leader and friend, but your loss is beyond words. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  77. Michael Raizen
    April 16, 2020 at 22:35

    Erik was a strong leader and I could hear that in his voice and his message. I was proud to help him in two campaigns and was looking forward to his long time service to Arlington. Having been raised and schooled in Arlington I can say there have been very few leaders on the County Board that have matched his skills. He will be sorely missed. Life goes on and although things look dark now, we must continue to live with Erik’s positive attitude in mind. My many regards to Renee and his family.

  78. Jason Rylander
    April 16, 2020 at 22:33

    I’m stunned to learn tonight that our friend Erik Gutshall lost his battle against brain cancer. Erik was a good and decent man and a devoted public servant. Arlington is a better place because of Erik’s service to our community. We will miss him.

  79. Susan
    April 16, 2020 at 22:26

    A truly sad day for Arlington and all of Virginia when we lose a champion like Erik. A man with ideas as big and great as his heart. He will be missed.

  80. Jack Kinkaid
    April 16, 2020 at 22:23

    I am so saddened by this news. I always enjoyed and benefitted from the chats I had with Erik. He was truly a public servant. He was among the best of Arlington. Our prayers are with Renee and the girls.

  81. Randy Swart
    April 16, 2020 at 22:16

    It was a blow to all of us to lose Erik as a County Board member, and as a friend. He was a true leader in every sense of the word. I always relied on Erik to ask the right questions and do the right thing whenever challenges arose. We were lucky to have him serving us and I have nothing but gratitude for all he did on our behalf.

  82. Matt Royer
    April 16, 2020 at 22:14

    We have lost a true champion for Arlington. Erik was one of the most genuine, kindhearted people you would ever be able to meet. I have always appreciated the support that he gave behind the scenes to myself and so many other young people trying to do good in the world and we are blessed to have known him and learned from him.

    Erik, we will miss your kindness, your spirit, and the enthusiasm that you brought to making our county better. You will be missed dearly by all. Thank you for everything.

  83. Maureen Markham
    April 16, 2020 at 22:10

    This is devastating news. I am so, so sad to lose Erik and I am heartbroken for his family. Arlington is a better place because of Erik’s service. I will miss him dearly.

  84. Mary Ann and Nick Penning
    April 16, 2020 at 22:08

    Dear loved ones of Erik,
    We are devastated to learn this sudden news that Erik has passed. He stepped forward to run for the Board in a difficult primary. And while he lost, Erik was up to the challenge when a seat later opened, and he ran a second, successful campaign. He was a true profile in courage.

    May God bless him and comfort you.
    Mary Ann and Nick Penning

    • Ted Loza and Family
      April 16, 2020 at 23:17

      Que En Paz Descanse (QEPD)!
      Rest In Peace (RIP)!
      Dear Board Member Erik Gutshall, Gracias/Thank you for your service to the Diverse communities of Arlington. We appreciate your service, for our continued Progress, on the Board. A sad day for Arlington.

      Dear Gutshall family, please know you are in our prayers. Resilience!
      Blessing and may God keep Erik in his Glory.
      Ted, Ligia Loza and Children
      Bendiciones Siempre!

  85. Wendy Reed
    April 16, 2020 at 22:07

    I am so sorry to hear about Erik’s sudden passing. I remember meeting Erik not too many years back when he was running for office and loving his spirit and passion. What a loss for his family and our community. My heart goes out to Renee and their children.

    – Wendy Reed

  86. Cragg Hines
    April 16, 2020 at 22:06

    Heartbroken at the loss of a friend whose years of public service set an unbelievably high standard. I was with him in political defeat and victory. He was the same forward-looking person in each. Erik, Renee, and the girls represent the best of Arlington. May his memory be a blessing to his family, his friends, and Arlington County.

  87. Lori W
    April 16, 2020 at 22:05

    I am grateful to have been a part of the community where this mindful and generous public servant lived and worked. Thank you, Erik ,and to his family as well. Peace.

  88. Kip Malinosky
    April 16, 2020 at 22:03

    We lost a champion for the environment, for the middle-class, for the poor, for all who care about the struggle for a better world. He was an incredibly thoughtful, kind person with a great sense of humor. He loved to get into the weeds on policy. He thought and worked incredibly hard on affordable housing. Erik played an instrumental role in pushing Arlington to adopt a 100 percent clean energy plan. Erik was a model public servant. Always willing to listen and to fight hard for what matters. We were so luck to have him in public service. And we are devastated by his sudden loss. My heart goes out to Renee and his children.

  89. JoAnn Kokindo
    April 16, 2020 at 22:03

    A sad day for Arlington and his family. May he rest in eternal peace.

    • Eric S. Wiener
      April 16, 2020 at 23:14

      The first time I saw Erik speak I knew he was going to be a great candidate and office holder. He was always very kind to everyone and had a terrific sense of humor. We are all going to miss him.

  90. Rose Fabia
    April 16, 2020 at 22:03

    I’m pretty much shaken with the passing of Eric Gutshall. I remember meeting him at a campaign fundraiser in 2017 when I was getting fully involved in politics. He was running for County Board, and Dave and I had such a warm and pleasant conversation with him. He described himself as a small business owner in Arlington while his wife worked in the federal government, such a typical reflection of our community. We left very impressed with his honesty, kind demeanor and such a regular guy we knew we could trust to make decisions in the best interests of his constituents. After he was elected, he was still approachable, still down to earth, and still making sound decisions.

    Rest In Peace, Eric. We will miss you.

    • Karen Darner
      April 16, 2020 at 23:56

      This is a tremendous loss for those of us touched by his friendship and his dedication to Arlingtonians. But others will miss him too ,; those who haven’t had a chance to talk to him and listen to him. We have to keep his memory alive for the future of our community. I’m so awed by the passion of his family for this community and his leadership among many others. I thank each of them, as well as Erik, for showing us and believing in our future as a great hometown. Rest In Peace, my friend.

    • Larry Bright
      April 17, 2020 at 10:48

      Eric was one of those sincere, soft spoken heroes at work for this community and beyond day in and day out. He will be sorely missed.

  91. Andrew White
    April 16, 2020 at 22:01

    I will always remember one of the Monday night sessions, Erik presiding solo, with a number of us worried about funding for arts funding in Arlington, Encore Stage in particular. One young woman, with a learning disability, came with her father, and at first it looked like her dad would speak for her–instead, Erik invited her to sit across from him and tell him in her own words what Encore meant to her.

    Nothing I could have said would have meant more than what she said, and it was a magical moment, the kind you never expect to find with a public official.

    Rest in peace, Erik, and all my love to your family.

  92. Scott Sklar
    April 16, 2020 at 22:01

    I had worked with Eric with his energy company and then even more closely when he joined the Arlington County Board as I was serving on the E2C2 Commissions Energy Committee. First and foremost, Eric was always approachable. Second, he was smart and knowledgable .. and was able to get into the detail. Third, he was an ardent supporter of the “Arlington Way”, of environmental stewardship, and of energy efficiency & renewable energy. And most importantly, he was just a fine individual who cared deeply for his family and community. He represents the “best of Arlington” and I will sure miss him.

  93. Adele McClure
    April 16, 2020 at 21:58

    Bill and I are devastated beyond words to hear about the loss of Erik Gutshall. Arlington lost such a kind-hearted and committed soul. He was so selfless and so passionate about helping others. I will never forget our conversations. I will never forget how deeply he cared about his community. And I will never forget all that he has done to make the world around him a better place.

    My heart and all of my love goes out to Renee and the girls 😢. Renee, we love you and are here for you always.

  94. Eric Midboe
    April 16, 2020 at 21:58

    I am so sorry to hear of Erik’ tragic death. He was a dedicated public servant, a kind and loving family man, and fierce defender of his Democratic values. We will miss him.

  95. Christine Schaubach
    April 16, 2020 at 21:56

    Erik always had an everlasting smile on his face! He walk talk of travels with Renee! We would share the next adventure stories. We have 3 girls and the Gutshalls have 3 girls! It was fun running into them at soccer and theater activities, but I will miss how he truly wanted to make a difference in our Arlington community! He will be sorely missed! He was taken too soon! My heart truly aches! To the Gutshall girls, the Schaubachs are here for you in any way! 🙏🏻❤️

  96. Bob Witeck
    April 16, 2020 at 21:50

    With love and admiration for Erik and the beautiful Gutshall family. Your leadership, compassion and dedication to the best of Arlington’s values will inspire us for years to come.

  97. Casey Archer
    April 16, 2020 at 21:49

    I’m so sorry to hear this news. I’ll keep Erik and his family in my thoughts. I’m thankful for his service to our county.

  98. Kim Phillip
    April 16, 2020 at 21:49

    I remember the first time I met Erik. He was so personable. He took the time to listen. We had a wonderful conversation about Arlington. I will always remember that first meeting. Erik, thank you for your service to Arlington County and thank you for being you.

  99. Jill Caiazzo
    April 16, 2020 at 21:26

    I am gutted to hear of Erik’s untimely passing. He was taken from us, and from his wonderful family, far too soon. I am grateful for everything that he accomplished for our community, as well as for the example that he set as a kind and forward-thinking leader. I am grateful also to Renee and the girls for supporting Erik during his service on the County Board. It was no small sacrifice. The Gutshalls are the very best of Arlington, and Arlington will be there for them during this dark hour.

    • Joan Bullmer
      April 17, 2020 at 13:23

      My deepest appreciation for having the benefits of Erik’s services on the County Board. Personally, I did not know Eric, but admire his dedication to public service. May his family be at peace with knowledge of the goodness that he shared within his Arlington community.

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