Ramon F. Getzov, 71, insurance firm founder

March 30, 2004

Ramon F. Getzov, a Baltimore insurance executive and founder of GEBCO Insurance Associates, died of multiple myeloma Sunday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. He was 71.

Mr. Getzov was born and raised in Camden, N.J., and earned a bachelor's degree in insurance and risk management in 1954 from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in Philadelphia.

He began his business career with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance in Philadelphia and moved to Baltimore in 1959, when he went to work for Chesapeake Life Insurance Co. After selling life and health insurance, he moved into the property and casualty field with American Mutual Life Insurance Co.

A top salesman, Mr. Getzov was "always winning something," said his daughter, Lisa Getzov Radov of Owings Mills, vice president and director of marketing at GEBCO.

Mr. Getzov founded GEBCO in the basement of his Lutherville home in 1971. The business, which has grown into one of the largest insurance agencies in the state, now has its headquarters in Towson. He retired because of failing health in 2001.

A talented musician who had turned down a scholarship to study piano at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Mr. Getzov retained a keen interest in music for the remainder of his life and was a member of the board of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

He also was a board member of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. A supporter of Jewish education, he established a scholarship fund at Baltimore Hebrew Day School and donated money to build the school's athletic fields.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. today at Sol Levinson, & Bros., 8900 Reisterstown Road in Pikesville.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife of 47 years, the former Constance Alper; a sister, Alma Kerben of Orlando, Fla.; and four grandchildren.

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