(WKBN) – Gary Housteau didn’t hide from cancer. He used his Facebook page of 4,252 friends to document his daily struggle – from his days in chemotherapy to the glimmers of hope that he’d survive. But Friday at 7:35 p.m., surrounded by his family and loved ones, Housteau peacefully died at 57 years old.

“Gary documented his five-year battle with stage IV cancer for all to see,” said his brother, Ray Housteau. “He fought his battle with as much determination as he showed in life and in sports. He will be remembered by many for his brave battle, and for the kind of father and man he was. Although heartbroken, we are so very proud of him.”

Housteau was best known as a sportswriter and photographer. In the 90s, he and his late brother, Chuck, ran a sports publication called The Valley’s Playbook. In most recent years, Gary could be seen roaming the sidelines of a high school or college sporting event taking pictures.

“I finally consider myself a pretty good photographer,” he said during an interview in August of 2021. “I’ve tried to become good the last couple of years.”

Gary’s biggest passion though was Ohio State football. He had press credentials for 22 straight years and never missed a home game. Even this past season – with the cancer peaking – he covered every home game and traveled to Ann Arbor for the Michigan game.

“Gary Housteau loved his family, his community, his friends, his Penguins and his Buckeyes,” said Youngstown State University President and former Ohio State football coach, Jim Tressel. “We are all better because he cared about us. We will miss this great friend.”

In 2017, Housteau was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. He fought it, even after on an August Monday in 2021 a doctor told him he had three to six months to live.

“It’s a prison sentence,” Housteau said at the time. “A death sentence. It’s one of the saddest things because you think hearing you have cancer is bad, but when you find out there’s nowhere to run, you know.”

In his last Facebook post four days ago, Housteau wrote, “They’ve stopped treating me…and it’s time for Hospice to take over.”

He thanked everyone for their “prayers and support,” writing that he was “forever and eternally grateful.”  

Appropriately, he ended the post with these last words, “Go Bucks!!”