Remembering Dick Gebhart, Proud Son of Dayton.

Dick Gebhart, my partner and husband of 41 years, died on November 2, 2015. He courageously waged a battle against cancer for three years; with resolve, dogged persistence, and bravery. Dick was taken from me, our families, and his friends too soon. He did not want to leave us, and we did not want him to go.

Born on June 3, 1950, to Clyde and Charlotte, Dick attended Shiloh School across the street from the family home and graduated from Meadowdale High School in 1968. He went on to earn a master's degree in Economics from Wright State University in 1974. As an adult, Dick became a true friend to his mother and father, enjoying their company in ways that often elude grown children and their parents. I envied it.

A natural athlete, Dick excelled in many sports. Basketball was his first love and he played until injuries and age rendered him simply an ardent fan. No matter what sport he tried, Dick always took to it as if he were born to play it. Dayton sportswriter Marty Williams wrote of Dick as a high school football player, "Plow Horse Gebhart, Really a Thoroughbred", an apt description of the person I knew.

Dick was an outdoor enthusiast; bird watcher, hiker, camper. His goal was to get as far away from "civilization" as possible. At his most contented charting our course along a deserted dirt road, he would often muse aloud, " I wonder where that road goes". His beloved dogs and I would have gone

anywhere with him, we were his captive audience: On a

journey, in many ways, that was just getting started.

His cross-country colleagues remember Dick as competent, hard-working, unselfish, and trustworthy. He pursued his

career for more than four decades, when on the cusp of a well-deserved retirement, was confronted with the ultimate challenge that would take his life: a life of adventure,

exploration, fun, and meaning.

Dick was an inquisitive traveler throughout the 65 years he spent on this earth, yet, among all the places he settled for a while, Dayton was always "home".

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