George Gaich, born Feb. 2, 1927, in Powhatan Point, Ohio, joined his beloved wife in heaven on Oct. 1, 2013. He died peacefully with his son Steven at his side in Medina, Ohio, where he lived the last couple of years.
George was a loving husband to his wife Irene, and a father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and uncle, whose unconditional love for all of us was undeniable. George lived a full and happy life of 86 years.
He served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army occupation forces in Japan during World War II. After the war, he returned to high school to earn his diploma at Powhatan High School. Through the encouragement and support of his high school football coach, George played college football, attending University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, and then transferring to Western New Mexico University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Education, and in later years his Master’s Degree in Education.
He taught school for 30 years in Powhatan Point, North Fairfield, Berlin Heights, and Willard, Ohio. Throughout his teaching career he coached several sports but loved coaching football the most. He was an advocate for school-based driver education, believing that it could result in saving lives. He served as Athletic Director in Willard for many years and was proud of the student athletes’ accomplishments during that time.
After retirement he tutored students at EHOVE joint vocational school helping them earn their diplomas. He served on Willard City Council and the Willard Board of Education, extending his life of public service. George was a lifelong learner, earning his pilot’s license, his real estate license, and learning how to snorkel at age 72 while in Hawaii celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary with his family. He had a Facebook page where he kept in touch with his former students, nieces and friends.
In addition to his wife, Irene, he was preceded in death by his parents, Eli and Sima Pavlovich Gaich; brothers and sister-in-law, Mike and Sam (Ora) Gaich.
George is survived by his daughter, Pamela (Greg) VanHorn; sons, Dr. Gregory Gaich, and Dr. Steven (Catherine) Gaich; grandchildren, Dr. Daniel (Dr. Abigaile) VanHorn, Joe And Kendra VanHorn, Brooke Paddock, Caitlin and Emma Gaich, AJ and Ponch Gaich; great-grandchildren, Kate and Jake VanHorn, and Dr. Carol Gaich - mother of Cokie, Emma and Brooke; sister-in-law, Mary Ann Wickham; many loving nieces and nephews; a host of friends; and the hundreds of students whose lives he touched.
Family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at Secor Funeral Home, 202 W. Maple St., Willard. We will celebrate dad’s life at 7:30 p.m. Family and friends will be invited to share a story or a memory of our dad at that time. A graveside service with full military honors will be held at noon, Oct. 18, at Greenwood Cemetery, 1526 National Road, Wheeling, W.Va. George and Irene’s ashes will be interred together as they wished.
In lieu of flowers, donations in George’s memory should be made to the Powhatan Alumni Scholarship Association. Mail to Powhatan Alumni Scholarship, Reference: George Gaich, P.O. Box 91, Powhatan Point, Ohio 43942.
These donations will continue the scholarship he has supported over the last several years. He never forgot his roots and wanted to support students in Powhatan going to college.