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"Threads of Love" Donor Memorial Quilt: Quilt 13

Donald A. Gantz


“Hero Gone” read the caption on the front page of The Gettysburg Times on Saturday, December 2, 2006. A sentiment that would be shared by the hundreds of lives touched by a man, who lived his life of 52 years in service to his community. Service was his commitment, firefighting was his passion.

Donnie was a quiet, unassuming gentleman, with a big heart. He was talented and creative, which was exhibited in his work as a general contractor. Those abilities he used not only in his business, but in his volunteerism. There wasn’t a scrap of wood, or metal that Donnie couldn’t find a use for, and he was always building something.

His passion for firefighting started in his teens and continued to grow. Donnie understood the importance of maintaining his skills and expanding his knowledge through the years. He was eager to share what he knew with others and had an exceptional talent to inspire learning. He was leader in the three fire departments in Adams County, as well as an instructor for the Adams County Training Center and the Pennsylvania Fire Academy.

Donnie’s sense of mission, work ethic and ability to overcome obstacles was rooted in his years of boy scouting, as well as his love and respect for nature. Donnie enjoyed spending his leisure time in the woods and was an avid hunter.

Donnie shared his love and his life with all, but those at home miss him most. Donnie was a devoted father and grandfather. He was loving and supportive to his companion of five years. Several years ago I gave Donnie a medal which he wore to the grave. It simply stated, “Just do what you love.” He lived that…and so must we.

In loving memory by his “Rose”

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