Communities

VETERANS DAY – A Day of Remembrance

GARY PRICHARD, LEFT, WAS PRESENTED WITH HIS CRESWELL GRANGE VETERAN OF THE YEAR 2018 CERTIFICATE AT THE LANE COUNTY POMONA GRANGE MEETING IN OCTOBER. PRESENTING THE AWARD IS CRESWELL GRANGE PRESIDENT MARTIN MCCLURE. Photo provided

Creswell Grange’s 2018 Veteran of the Year, Gary Prichard, has spent the last 52 years serving the community through his Grange activities.
Gary grew up on his family’s farm in Lane County and was active in the 4-H youth group. He
graduated from Pleasant Hill High School and the University of Oregon before enlisting in the
US Navy. He was stationed in Naples, Italy, serving on the supply ship the U.S.S. Mississinewa. After his service in the Navy, Gary enrolled at Oregon State University where he received a Masters degree in marketing and education. Coming home to Lane County, Gary taught high school in Eugene.
A past president of Creswell Grange, Goshen Grange and the Lane County Pomona Grange,
Gary is a highly respected member of the organization. He is known for his quiet, thoughtful
approach, his willingness to help wherever he is needed and his commitment to service.
Gary has coordinated the Grange’s Valentines for Vets project for the past 20 years. Each
Valentines Day, Grange members deliver handmade cards to veterans at the Roseburg Veteran Affairs Hospital, and spends the day visiting with the veterans there. This year, Grange members also delivered handmade cards from Creswell High School students.
”We used to be able to take candy and other gifts to the veterans,” Gary recalled. ”These days
the hospital doesn’t allow that. But it is still a good program and lets the veterans there know
people who care about them and who are grateful for their service.”
While Gary was president of Creswell Grange, the group started its annual tradition of providing holiday fruit baskets to Meals on Wheels recipients in Creswell. ”It does make the season happier for people when they are remembered at Christmas,” said Gary.
Gary also served for a number of years as Lane County Fair Land Products Superintendent. In that position, he oversaw the land products displays in the Wheeler Pavilion.