Gary Sheaffer - 46373
Three things you could always count on with Gary – he would always be the first to help when needed, he wanted to improve things and he put more than 100 percent into whatever he did.
He was a gifted athlete whether it was high school baseball, wrestling, or football. He enjoyed staying active and as his sons grew up, he stayed involved by being a little league baseball coach, a midget football coach, and attending every one of their high school sports practices and games. When the boys were in little league, he started caring for the baseball fields which included mowing the grass and prepping the fields for games. When the boys were in midget football, he transitioned to the midget football field groundskeeper and he studied how to stripe the field and create designs with the mower. He was very proud of the improvements he made to the field.
Time passed and he started to do more for himself which included purchasing a motorcycle. He made many trips and enjoyed riding it, but he had an accident about a mile from home one rainy evening. He broke his right femur and his left shoulder; he was lucky he wasn’t killed. He had a rod put in his femur to help it heal. He struggled with his limitations, but that’s how he came to try disc golf.
It didn’t take long to realize he had a true passion for disc golf and for the other people he met at Pinchot and other courses. He decided he wanted to take it seriously and become a professional. He studied videos, books, magazines and other players to learn the best techniques. He bought all types of discs to see what he threw best. He also was determined to make the Pinchot course better and eventually to host a PDGA tournament there, so he spearheaded the creation of GPDG. He worked on the Articles and the application to create a non-profit organization. He had a supportive group of disc golfers that worked every Sunday morning for years with him to improve and maintain the course. They mowed grass, cut up downed trees and redid tees. Gary made benches out of the trees that they cut up and placed them at various tees on the course. He worked to get new baskets for the course and helped install them.
He was set to go to Worlds in 2015 when they were being held in our home state of Pennsylvania. He was incredibly excited to go and compete as a professional. But in June of that year it all changed. He was diagnosed with Stage IV Esophageal Cancer very unexpectedly. He wanted to attend Worlds, but he was just too weak from chemotherapy to travel. He bounced back and was doing well that winter and into the spring. He got a golf cart so he could still go the course and be with his disc golf family even though he wasn’t able to play. He continued to help organize the PDGA tournament held at Pinchot in the summer of 2016. He truly loved the sport and his disc golf family.
Yes, three things you could always count on with Gary. He demonstrated them every day.
Sanctioned events played 30.
Career wins 15.
Responsible for the redesign of the Quakers Challenge Disc Golf Course