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Former Greene County agriculture teacher, trucker, Gary Deer, Sr., dead at 87

In Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, obituary on July 2, 2020 at 5:35 am

Gary Deer Sr., of Jamestown, Ohio, passed away July 1st at the age of 87. Gary is pictured here with younger son Gery and their 1967 International 1600 show truck at the 2019 Caesar’s Ford Summerfest. Photo Courtesy Greene County Parks & Recreation.

Some people are farmers or mechanics. Others are truckers or teachers. Still more are welders and masons. Gary Deer, Sr., of Jamestown, Ohio, was all of those things – and more. Born and raised at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the tiny village of Hanging Rock, Ohio, he came north in 1951 with his wife Lois in search of a better life. Gary passed away on July 1, 2020, at the age of 87 after a long battle with complications from Parkinson’s disease. This story, though, isn’t about how he died, but how he lived. 

When he first came to Dayton, Gary got a job at AT&T but went on to work nearly 20 years as a machinist with NCR. Gary and Lois raised two children, Gary, Jr., and Cathy, in Fairborn, before settling in 1977 on a small farm outside Jamestown where their younger son, Gery, grew up.

Gary was the original master of the “side hustle,” as it’s known today, making a lifelong career of creatively applying his skills and talents to support his family. Over the years, he hauled scrap iron, worked on cars, drove trucks, and poured concrete. 

In the late 1960s, Gary became a teacher of vocational agriculture and heavy equipment mechanics at the Greene County Joint Vocational School (now the Greene County Career Center). The position included advising students in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and his teaching style and fatherly image created a fierce loyalty and respect from them, many of whom became lifelong family friends. 

But to many, he may be best known as the “Sawdust Man,” because he started hauling sawdust in 1961 under the name “Gary Deer & Son,” updated to “Sons” when Gery came along. The business is still operated today by Gary, Jr., and supplies sawdust for bedding to some of the most prominent stables and dairies in the area, including Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Gary never forgot what it was like to grow up with nothing. He and his family always worked to help others, sponsoring families at Christmas, giving to various charities, and helping out those around them however they could. (Read the story about the Deer family’s Christmas philanthropy, now free from Amazon Kindle – “A Special Place at a Special Time” by Gery Deer)

His family kept him as active as possible in his later years, hanging out with the family band, The Brothers & Co., or attending car shows with their 1967 International show truck. He was a weekly regular at the Antioch Wellness Center where he continued his physical therapy to help maintain his strength and mobility as his Parkinson’s advanced.

“We should all try to remember how those we’ve lost stay with us; not from “things” they leave behind, but in how they made us who we are, like a tapestry of life experiences,” younger son, Gery, shared. “Dad taught me self-reliance but more than that, he will be with me every time I feel like giving up – because he never did. He showed me, by example, how to use every skill and talent I have to provide for myself and my family.”

“When I look back later at what I’ve written and documented through photos and videos about my time looking after him, I want to be reminded of what mattered most. Not how he died, but how he lived. He was never perfect, but he was always there. And I guess, in my own way, he always will be. But our lives will never be the same without him. We’ll see you on the flip-side, ‘Sawdust Man.’”

Gary’s wife of 60 years, Lois, passed away in 2011 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He is survived by his three children, Gary Deer, Jr. (67), Cathy Wolf (64), and Gery Deer (52), all from the Jamestown area, and their respective spouses, Diana, Robert, and Barbara. He also leaves behind a sister, Yvonne Kay Hughes (84) of Ironton, Ohio, 5 grandchildren – Melissa Van Oss, Jessica Simmons, Jodi Castillo, Tiffany Knapp, and Henry Dill, (and their spouses), 7 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. 

SERVICES: Handled by Powers-Kell Funeral Home (WEBSITE/OBIT) Tuesday, July 7, 2020 – Public Graveside – Woodlawn Cemetery in Bowersville, Ohio.  – Viewing/Visitation 10AM / Service Starts 11AM. Followed by a Celebration Open House at Gery Deer’s home, 3604 N Lakeshore Dr., Jamestown, Ohio 45335. Call 937-675-6169 for information.

For those wishing to pay their respects from a distance, in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his name to the Parkinson’s Foundation or the Greene County Council on Aging

The Deer family would also like to thank the following people as well as countless others for their contributions during Gary’s illness and care: Julie Barth, Debra Bays, Ed Jones, Robert Wolf, Rob Simmons, Lynn Martin, Bette Byerly, Misty Myers, New Jasper Township Fire & Rescue, and Dr. Courtney Stroble. 

Check out our photo gallery of Gary from over the years.

Jamestown Advertising & PR Firm To Discontinue IT Support Services June 1

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Economy, Technology on May 21, 2020 at 12:29 pm

JAMESTOWN, OH – May 21, 2020 – GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., a 22-year-old advertising and public relations agency, based in Jamestown, Ohio, has announced it will discontinue the IT and technical support arm of the business as of June 1st of this year. Existing clients will be referred to local resources for continued service or provided with appropriate instructions for in-house technical staff to take over.

GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. merged with its sister company, Deer Computer Consulting, Ltd., in 2015 and continued to service existing tech support clients. Started in London, Ohio, in 1997, Deer Computer offered on-site support for computers and related technology, throughout southwest Ohio. Services ranged from hardware upgrades and software installations to tech consulting and networking support for small businesses. 

Once merged, GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. continued to offer a limited technology service under the parent flag but has moved further away from that to focus more on content marketing, video and audio production, and public relations.

“Deer Computer started as one of the first on-site, in-home technology support firms in this part of Ohio and it’s been a difficult choice to completely phase out that end of the business,” said the founder of both companies and CEO of GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., Gery L. Deer. 

“We have had some clients who were with us for nearly 20 years and we have always been grateful for their loyalty and confidence. It is our hope this move will allow us to continue to grow the creative production and content marketing side of our company in-part because of our deep technical experience.”

GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. technology clients can get more information on the change, by contacting their representative. Contact information is available on the company’s official website, http://www.gldenterprises.net.

Greene County Public Health Implements Changes To Protect Employees And Public While Still Offering Services

In Local News on March 20, 2020 at 2:03 pm

GREENE COUNTY, OH – March 20, 2020 – Greene County Public Health officials have announced the suspension of all in-person services for three departments until further notice. It is imperative that we protect our employees from COVID-19 so they are able to continue to provide essential operations and services.

Here is what this means to our Greene County residents:

Vital Statistics Office (Birth/Death Certificates)

You may order a certified copy of a birth or death certificate record online using your credit card through our only approved Internet ordering service, VitalChek Network Inc. the link is available on the Greene County Public Health webpage at gcph.info/birth-death-certificates/

You may also apply for a birth or death certificate, by filling out the forms available on the Greene County Public Health webpage and mail it with a money order, NO CASH OR CHECK. Applications will be processed as quickly as possible. Plumbing Office To apply for a plumbing permit or plan review, fill out the forms available on the Greene County Public Health webpage at http://www.gcph.info/public-health programs/environmental_health/plumbing_inspection.

These forms can be mailed in with payment or dropped off in the locked box located outside the entrance doors of the Health Department. Plumbing inspections can be requested in the morning, Monday-Friday, from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. by calling 937-374-5677 or 937-374-5678. Applications will be processed as quickly as possible.

General Services

Anyone needing to submit plans for new/remodeled food businesses and/or food mobile operations must call 937-374-5607 to pre-schedule the submission of those plans. Unscheduled plan drop-offs will not be permitted at the Greene County Public Health office. Plan submission payments will only be accepted via check, money order or credit card; cash will not be accepted.

Additionally, until further notice, no face-to-face meetings to discuss your food plans will be permitted. We can address your questions or concerns via telephone, Skype, GoToMeeting, etc. If you need to pay for a food license, swimming pool/spa license, etc, it is preferable that these be mailed into the health district as opposed to dropping off your application at the health district. If you must bring your application/payment directly to the health district, you will not be permitted beyond the main lobby. Again, only checks, money orders or credit cards will be permitted. If you have any questions regarding these new procedures, please feel free to call Environmental Health Services at 937-374-5605.

Please visit our website at www.gcph.info for any changes to these procedures. Due to the nature of COVID-19, our procedures are subject to change. Should you need further information, please call our office at 937-374-5600.

For details on COVID-19, please visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or cdc.gov. You can also call the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 Call Center at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH which is open 7 days per week from 9:00am – 8:00pm.

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Contact: Laurie Fox, Public Information Officer March 20, 2020 937-374-5669/866-858-3588; lfox@gcph.info

Coronavirus and caregiving. Tips for keeping healthy during the COVID-19 crisis.

In Children and Family, Health, history, National News, Politics, Science, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on March 15, 2020 at 5:49 pm

(Reprinted by permission from the Old Nerd in the Gym Fitness blog)

As of the time of this writing, COVID-19, known as the Coronavirus, has become a pandemic and lives and countries affected are growing exponentially with no end in sight. As government and private medical resources scramble for a viable vaccine, Americans struggle with the idea of social distancing and isolation. Some of the most widely affected are those who care for others – medical professionals and, in our interest here, informal caregivers.

The isolation already felt by caregivers can be greatly exacerbated by further restrictions on respite time or visits from friends and family. It is difficult to know with whom people may have come into contact causes and the danger to your family member is unpredictable. Even in-home care providers create a higher risk for patients and their caregivers.

For those with family members in a nursing facility, there is now a greater feeling of separation. Nursing care guidelines have restricted visiting hours or cancelled them entirely for all but hospice patients. Whatever stress caregivers face on a day-to-day basis are now greatly multiplied.

During this difficult time it’s important that caregivers remember to practice additional self-care. Here are some tips that might help. 


Protecting Yourself and Your Charge

First and foremost is protecting yourself and your family member from potential infection. Nothing is failsafe, but there are things you can do to minimize the potential hazards and it all starts with factual information. (Here is information provided by the Washington State Department of Health)

How is the novel coronavirus that can cause COVID-19 spread?

Coronaviruses are primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally have to be within six feet of someone who is contagious for an extended period of time, and have droplets land on them. This is very different from airborne diseases like measles, so the public health response is different.

To reduce your risk of getting any viral respiratory infection:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Stay at home away from others if you are sick.
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.

Dealing With Isolation & Monotony

It might be tough to battle the day-to-day monotony and isolation of caregiving but now it’s going to be even harder. Respite becomes all the more important but, with social safety restrictions and countless event and activity closings, it will be fleeting at best. Rest and diversion are vital to mental stability and calm. 

Exercise. Find exercises you can do at home. Most streaming services offer some type of free exercise videos you can follow. Yoga and meditation can help too, or just go outside and take a walk, even if it’s just around the house. If you can, take your charge with you. Avoid contact with others, but open air is good for everyone. Try to find something to get your heartrate up. 

Food. Be careful not to overeat. Ignoring the potential for supply shortages, if only to avoid the infection risk at the store, boredom will invite snacking and the potential to overeat. When you do shop, avoid buying chips or other unhealthy snacks and keep fresh fruit and veggies on hand. Citrus and other fruits will help to shore up your immune system. Provide the same to your family member if they’re able. 

Proper hydration is also a concern during these trying times. As has been mentioned many times in the Old Nerd articles and podcasts, staying hydrated is vital to health. Be sure to keep health drinks like low or no-sugar fruit juice and water.

Sleep. Proper rest is critical to mental and physical health alike. It’s difficult enough to rest when your mind is full of worry and fear as a caregiver. Now, adding the virus concerns sleep will be even more fleeting. Still, make every effort. Avoid screens within an hour or so before trying to sleep and don’t watch the news. Read a book you like or play a game with your charge or other household member. Do something to take your mind off of everything before you try to sleep. Build a routine around it and do your best to hold to it. 

KEY TIP: Avoid Social Media

It might seem, during such isolated times, that social media would be a great way to keep in contact with the outside world. But Facebook, Twitter and the like are far too full of false information, non-scientific nonsense and just flat-out negativity. None of this will be helpful to maintaining sharp mental focus and a calm emotional state. Turn it off. If you want to talk to family and friends pick up the phone or video chat so you can see and hear them. That will comfort you, not the ravings of crazy internet trolls. 

Hang In There.

Everyone must be in this for the long-haul. There is no vaccine for this disease yet in sight, but professionals are working hard. Follow the CDC guidelines and be careful. Proper hand-washing and advanced self-care will see it through. 

We will be releasing more advice and information as available. In the meantime, here are some resources that might help.

SOURCES & RESOURCES: 

CDC Definitions and Information on Quarantine and Isolation: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/index.html

World Map of COVID-19 Infections:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/world-map.html

Women’s Health & Pregnancy Resources

Women’s Health Care Physicians Practice Advisory for COVID-19, ACOG

Inpatient Obstetric Healthcare Guidance, CDC

Coronavirus Disease and Pregnancy, CDC

Guidance on Breastfeeding for a Mother with COVID-19, CDC