Dave Gill was a man who loved McArthur and Vinton County and did his best to make his community and county a better place to live. Last Tuesday morning, the former long-time McArthur Fire Chief and Village Councilman was given a fitting tribute when he was laid to rest. It was made very clear on that day that Gill had many friends and admirers.

The downtown streets were lined up with firefighters, police officers and local citizens who were all wishing to say goodbye and thank you. The motorized funeral procession was led by the McArthur Fire Department’s vintage fire engine, which has been retired from firefighting, but is still used in parades. It was a fitting symbol of his 48 years of service to the fire department.

Gill leaves behind his wife of 58 years, Cara. Also, his son, Dave, who has made his mark on the community as a pharmacist and businessman.

Chief Gill was indeed a hometown hero as he spent nearly five decades of his life protecting both homes and businesses in the village and county. Being a fire chief, in many ways, is like being a small-town journalist because you learn about many aspects of people and places, and in Gill’s case electricity, water and wiring.

Sometimes, fire chiefs are involved in arson cases, the death of a child or deadly car crashes. It is not always an easy job but a very vital one which Gill not only tackled, but performed very well.

I recall Gill as being a kind man who looked for the best solution when he was on Village Council. This service was where I knew him the best. Putting your name on a ballot is not easy because, even in a small town, it opens up your life for review and places you under a microscope. I do not think Dave was a politician, just a man who wanted better for his hometown and the people in it.

Over the years, he was concerned about such issues as improving schools, attracting new businesses, keeping the village clean, and of course, fire hydrants and fire-resistant material.  He kept the fire department in good shape as far as equipment and roster numbers were concerned.

His funeral was held Tuesday at the McArthur United Methodist Church with Rev. Dr. Randy Hardman and Rev. Jim Taylor officiating.

In addition to all his public activities, he also retired after a career with the Austin Powder Co. He cared about education as well and believed it was a gateway to success. His family requested that in lieu of flowers, monetary gifts be made to the Vinton County Education Foundation, 307 West High St., McArthur, Ohio 45651.  

Those with the Total Media Group -- The Radio, The Telegram and Zip Printing -- send our condolences to the family and want to offer our praise and recognition for a 79-year life that was well-lived.