If Gary Seals ’66 hasn’t done it all, he’s done most everything, and much of it has served the greater good. While in high school Gary played football for legendary coaches Bill Wilkins, Bill Varble, Ward Holdsworth and Ron Strine. He was named first-team All-NOL defensive end on the 1965 Whippets – the first SHS team to notch 10 wins on the way to a Northern Ohio League title.
Soon afterward Gary found himself in Vietnam where he was in a Ranger Recon Platoon conducting reconnaissance around the Iron Triangle which included An Loc, Cu Chi tunnels area, Song Be River, and along the Cambodian border for the Army’s First Infantry Division (Big Red One). In October 1969 he earned a “Battalion Combat Soldier of the Month” honor. For R & R, he spent a week in Sidney, Australia. In 2012 his Recon Platoon based at Fort Riley, Kansas was deployed to Afghanistan. He organized a Christmas toy drive for the Platoon’s kids and a support system for their wives and families. The platoon leader requested Gary’s Vietnam Recon Platoon flag to take with his men, and it was flown along with theirs in Afghanistan, everywhere they went.
Upon returning from Vietnam he started his working career in finance, simultaneously using his GI Bill to earn degrees in accounting and business administration at Mansfield Business College. His subsequent business career had him specializing in banking, finance and sales in Ohio and Florida. He founded Gary Seals & Associates, a consulting company that installed finance, business and sales systems and had client responsibilities that spanned 23 states.
In 2012 he and Mike Johnson ‘63 planned the annual Veterans Day program for SHS students. Gary and Shelby American Legion commander Mic Hubbard planned the 2013 Veterans Day program, and Gary was asked to be a speaker for the 2014 presentation.
In 2010 Gary sparked the initiative that led to establishing SHS Veteran’s Roll Call that culminated in a striking memorial inside Shelby High School that pays tribute to more than 1,600 SHS graduates who proudly served in the nation’s military services. He worked with Mike Johnson, Toby Wilcox ‘65, SHS Principal John Gies ’84 and the SHS Alumni Association to honor those SHS alumni. At the Veteran’s Roll Call Dedication on August 17, 2014 Gary and Mike served as emcees, presenting John Gies and Superintendent Tim Tarvin ‘77 the names of more 1,300 SHS Veterans. Another 300+ subsequently were added to bring the total to over 1,600. Gary is a member of Shelby’s American Legion Post.
Gary is retired and lives in Florida with his wife Ronell. He spends his summers in Ohio at Marblehead on Lake Erie. Son Tony lives in Bellville, daughter Andrea in Shelby, and daughter Kristina in Louisville, Kentucky. Nominators: Mary Lee Hannaful Barr 66, Dave Spangler ’66.