Saying goodbye for now to a good man

Gary Schrock

Family and friends will bury Gary Schrock this morning at East Union Cemetery in Kalona, Iowa. He died of a heart attack on July 4. He was 55.

We attended his Celebration of Life Service Friday evening at Calvary Church in Muscatine, Iowa, where Gary had been a member for nearly 30 years. It’s where I really got to know him after Janet and I joined the small group Gary led with his wife, Joy. That small group was one of the thousands of ways Gary changed lives and helped make the world around him a better place. For sure, he had a bigger impact on my life than he may have imagined. And I don’t think I ever told him or said thank you.

One thing I believe because of Gary is that he knows today the impact he had on me and many others even if we never told him. I am not the same person I was before I met Gary. For that I am very grateful.

All of the speakers at last night’s service commented on the big shoes Gary leaves behind and the challenge his family and friends will have in trying to fill them. I don’t know how to do it, but I’m going to be more like the kind of leader Gary was. He left us far too soon. But if his death inspires the many friends he made in life to live more like he did, well, that may be what God had in mind in the first place.

Those who knew and loved him will get to see him again someday. He will be waiting with something funny to say and bottomless cups of coffee.