Mount Vernon News
  • Guy L. Van Nostrand Jr.

  • May 3, 2011

MOUNT VERNON — Guy L. Van Nostrand Jr., 96, died Sunday, May 1, 2011, at the residence of his son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Ruth Van Nostrand, where Guy made his home.

Guy was born in Trinway, Ohio, in Muskingum County, to Guy L. Van Nostrand and Rachel (Hall) Van Nostrand on June 5, 1914, and his family moved to Mount Vernon, when he was 6 years old.

Guy was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Minnie Lahmon; three brothers, John, Burr and Oddie; and his good wife, June, on Jan. 17, 2007.

He is survived by a son, Gary (Ruth) Van Nostrand of Mount Vernon; a daughter, Patricia Davis of Charlotte, N.C.; a daughter, Susie (John) Peters of Clearwater, Fla.; a son, Richard “Rick” (Jo) Hawkins of Mount Vernon; a son, James (Pam) Hawkins of Spring, Texas; a daughter, Susan (Dan) Snyder of Mount Vernon; 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; nieces, Pam Vybiral and Georgeanne Kinney; and nephew, Ben Van Nostrand.

Guy was the last of a few “brother trios” that played football and other sports at Mount Vernon High School and various sports in the community.

He graduated from Mount Vernon High School, where he participated and excelled in football 1927-1931, winning many Central Ohio League honors. He also was selected to The Columbus Dispatch’s first All-Ohio Squad in 1930. A quote in the Mount Vernon High School yearbook by football coach King, said, “They never made them too big for Guy.”

Guy was a graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Education and Master of Education degrees. He played on the OSU freshman football team, earning his sweater and numerals in 1934. In 1935, he played on the OSU Scout Team at 158 pounds, the lightest lineman to ever play for OSU. He received a bad knee injury that stopped his football playing career in 1935. Guy then spent two years as an assistant coach at Columbus North High School under Coach Mike Hagley. During his senior year at OSU, Guy was an assistant freshman coach under Coach Bobby Colburn.

Guy was a teacher and athletic coach at Bladensburg, Butler and Mansfield Senior high schools from 1938 to 1943. From 1943 to 1977, he was a teacher and coach of various sports at Mount Vernon High School, especially football and baseball. In 1972, Guy, as the baseball coach, with the help of Jim Gaston, Larry McGough and The Mount Vernon Community Trust Foundation, built the first baseball diamond and facilities at Mount Vernon High School.

Guy was considered a dedicated “Master Teacher & Coach” by his peers, and he had a rare “Life-time” teaching certificate. He also was active in local baseball and softball sports as a player, coach and official. Indeed he was a legend in his time.

Guy enjoyed Indian artifacts, history, archaeology and the collecting of Indian artifacts.

Guy liked to coon hunt with his friends and loved his faithful coon dog Payday. Lake Erie was his favorite fishing place; he also liked Apple Valley Lake. Part of the lake now covers 200 acres of his Uncle Phil Hall’s farm, so Apple Valley Lake was meaningful to him family-wise.

Guy and his good wife, June, were collectors of fine antiques, including old, one-room schoolhouse artifacts. This was inspired by the fact that Guy had attended one-room schools, Boar, Clinton and Valley Grove, in Knox County, through the eighth grade, plus the fact he was a teacher interested in rural history.

The Knox County Agriculture President, Dick Morey, was interested in putting an old one-room school on the Knox County Fairgrounds. Guy and Dick teamed up and the old Tiger Valley school became a reality on the fairgrounds in 1994. The old schoolhouse was dismantled and rebuilt by Ron Pritchard, Bill Ott, Neil Halterman, Hal Clawson, Cam Henthorn, Harold Linsley and fair board members Jack Raines, Howard Kidwell, Lewis Kinney, Mr. Morgan, Dr. Gerald Erskine, Dick and Guy. Due to its condition, the schoolhouse needed much replaced. Joe Tharp did the steel roof, Ellis Brothers the concrete work, WENCO the windows, plus many individuals contributed old artifacts. In 1996, the Knox County Agricultural Museum recognized Guy and June Van Nostrand with plaques honoring them for their many contributions that made the schoolhouse project possible.

After a 36-year teaching and coaching career, Guy served 12 years on the Mount Vernon School and Joint Vocational School boards, having served terms as both board president and vice president. Guy also served as Master of Dan Emmett Grange for two terms in the 1950s. Guy also successfully built and helped operate the Northside Manor Nursing Center from 1949 to 1966, then selling his interest in the business. Guy was a member of Mount Zion Lodge 9 Free and Accepted Masons in Mount Vernon, Aladdin Shrine in Columbus, Valley of Columbus Scottish Rite and Baldwin Shrine Club in Mount Vernon. He was a member of the OSTRS association, the Knox County Teachers Association, the Ohio State University Alumni Association, Knox County Historical Society and the Knox County Agricultural Museum.

Guy was baptized into the Ebenezer Methodist Church in 1925 and he tried to live by Christian principles all his life and tried to be a good example for others. He believed that he was born to help people and John 3:16 was one of his favorite Bible verses.

Guy’s greatest reward as a teacher was to know that all of his former students succeeded in the world of work, were good parents and citizens. He enjoyed meeting and talking to his former students, especially since most of his generation were gone. Guy was a positive thinker and he tried to think about the best of everyone that he came into contact with. He liked Rodin’s statue “The Thinker.”

It was very difficult for Guy to adjust to losing his dear wife June. He longed for Heaven every day. Guy always said, “Don’t ever underestimate what a good friendship means in life.”

Guy’s family will receive friends on Thursday, May 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home, 619 E. High St., Mount Vernon, where funeral services will be held Friday at 11 a.m., with Pastor Lou Toscano and his grandson, Pastor John Howells, officiating. Burial will follow at Mound View Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made in Guy’s name to Hospice of Knox County, 17700 Coshocton Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050.

To send a private online condolence to the family, visit

The Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home in Mount Vernon is honored to serve the family of Guy L. Van Nostrand Jr.

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