WARREN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – On Saturday, November 13, 2021, Dave Gilger, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away at 82.
He was born Peter David Gilger on August 31, 1939, to the late Peter Dower and Catherine Adelaide (Phillips) Gilger in Warren, Ohio.
Known to many as “Pete,” he graduated from Warren G. Harding High School in 1957. Shortly after that, he signed on as a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. Dave played a couple of seasons in Georgia and California before returning to Ohio in 1959 to attend The Ohio State University.
While his time at Ohio State was short, he did meet the love of his life, and on May 23, 1960, he married Barbara Lynne Hersch. Barb and Dave eventually returned to Warren in 1961 after briefly living in California. The couple made the Warren area their home for the next 40 years while raising two children.
For more than 28 years, Dave served in the Warren Fire Department. The highlight of his service came in 1995 when his son, Brian, joined the department.
He retired in 1998 before moving to Fort Myers, Florida. Barb and Dave enjoyed 13 years in what he often referred to as “Paradise” before her passing in 2014. He returned to Warren that same year.
Dave’s first love was baseball and it is what he is most recognized for within the community. He participated at all levels of the sport throughout his youth, culminating with his signing with the Phillies in 1957. Asked to pick his most rewarding baseball experience, Dave consistently chose the Warren Bears 1954 trip to the PONY League Championship in Washington, Pennsylvania. The first team to accomplish that feat. After baseball, golf was the only sport that mattered. Dave played three times a week during the season and watched the Golf Channel regularly. The highlight of his golf career was making a hole-in-one at the Mahoning Country Club. Dave loved playing with his golf league and he lamented not being with them more this past year.
Of all the different roles Dave had in his life, the one he did best was the role of grandfather. Known as “Papa” to his grandchildren, there is not a more beloved figure to them. He was involved in every part of his grandchildren’s lives. Papa was always there with his support and love.
Surviving Dave is his daughter, Lauren (Vernon) Holden; son, Brian (Jennifer) Gilger; grandchildren, Michael (Richard) Holden, Katherine (Sean) Watson, Sarah (Christopher) Wise, Benjamin Gilger, Emily Gilger and Grace Gilger and newest member of the family, great-granddaughter, Ada Watson. Also surviving Dave is his cousin, Judy Preston of Warren, Ohio. Judy was more a sister than a cousin to Dave throughout his life and held a special place in his heart and family.
Calling hours will be held Saturday, December 4, 2021, from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. at Lane Family Funeral Homes, Roberts-Clark Chapel, 180 Garfield Drive NE, Warren, OH 44483. A memorial service will immediately follow at 11:00 a.m.
Family and friends may send their heartfelt condolences by visiting www.lanefuneralhomes.com.
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