CHESTERVILLE — To say Gary Alspach was a prankster, would be an understatement. With his mischievous grin, Gary rarely passed up any opportunity to play a trick on his beloved family and friends. And everyone knew that “if Gary picked on you ... he liked you.”
A man of deep faith, Gary E. Alspach, of Chesterville, went to be with the Lord on Monday afternoon, June 29, 2009, after an unexpected aortic aneurysm.
On Aug. 13, 1947, Gary was born in the Galion Hospital, the son of the late Earl and Nina (Mellott) Alspach. He was raised on the family farm in Chesterville where he helped raise livestock and tend to their land and crops. He then graduated from Highland High School in the class of 1966.
Soon after graduating, Gary met his future wife, Nancy Walters, at a youth group activity at his church. They were married on April 27, 1968, at the First United Methodist Church in Cardington, and they shared 41 wonderful years together.
Gary worked as a C&C machinist first for Tecumseh in Marion, and later at the H.P.M. Corp. in Mount Gilead. For the past five years, he had worked as a machine operator for Sanoh-America in Mount Vernon, where he was lovingly known as “Chuck.”
Every Wednesday night and Sunday morning, there was no doubt that Gary would be somewhere within the Central Church of Christ in Mount Vernon, where he had been faithfully attending for years. For the Wednesday night church program, he loved driving the church van filled with laughing children and helping with their various activities, as he felt helping and caring for children was his mission. Also, he looked forward to helping with the audio and visual equipment on Sunday mornings.
The saying, “You can take the boy from the farm, but you can’t take the farm from the boy,” could have been coined after Gary. He had a deep love for the family farm and most of his interests revolved around the love and respect for nature that he learned as a child helping his father. He enjoyed tending to his garden and watching the hummingbirds feed at their feeders. He also loved capturing the beauty of nature, as a photographer.
With a yearning for knowledge, Gary used the Internet to his advantage, where he would read the daily news and find out all he could about history and science. When he wasn’t looking on the Internet, he was frequenting flea markets to find books and collectibles because he was a self-proclaimed Civil War buff. In addition, he enjoyed riding his motorcycle.
Good with his hands, Gary would and could fix just about anything. He often said “one man’s trash is grandpa’s treasure.” His family often took advantage of his willingness to help, and he would always say it is no trouble, “I’ll fix it.”
A family man, Gary would do anything for his family and he loved to be surrounded by them. To his grandchildren, he was known as “G-Pa” and “PaPa Claus” because of his white beard, and he never missed any of their events no matter how long and boring they were.
Having a spoiled four-legged friend, Gary’s family often questioned whether his dog Scooby was his most beloved member of the family. They went everywhere together, especially enjoying their walks and car rides together.
Gary will be dearly missed by his wife, Nancy Alspach of Chesterville; three children, Lori (Bryan) Hall of Willard, and their daughter, Jordan, Jill Alspach of Mount Vernon, and her daughter, Ashley, and Scott (Brenda) Alspach of Flower Mound, Texas, and their children, Abigail, Elaina, and Berkley; a sister, Phyllis (Arthur “Pete”) Beck of Orlando, Fla.; a sister-in-law, Cheryl Alspach of Chesterville; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Gary was preceded in death by his brother, William “Bill” Alspach.
The Alspach family will greet friends Thursday, July 2, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St. Services celebrating life will be held on Friday, July 3, at 11 a.m. at the Central Church of Christ, 1005 Harcourt Road, Mount Vernon, with Pastor Ken Springer and Pastor Don Linn officiating. Burial will follow in Maple Grove Cemetery in Chesterville. His family would then like for everyone to return to the church to share in a meal in Gary’s honor.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Central Church of Christ, c/o Wednesday Night Youth Program, 1005 Harcourt Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050.
For those unable to attend his services, condolences may be expressed online to his family by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.