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Alumni Hall of Fame
Academic / Professional Achievement (2012)

George L. Neargarder

George L. Neargarder is a member of the Memorial High School Class of 1945. Mr. Neargarder has served St. Marys and the surrounding area more than fifty years as a historian, committing an inordinate amount of time and resources to the preservation of almost every aspect of the deep and rich history of St. Marys, Ohio, and the surrounding area. This lifelong passion and commitment to preserving our history endured while raising six children with his wife, Patricia, enjoying his grandchildren and great grandchildren and serving over fifty years in the local retail industry and the St. Marys community in numerous leadership positions. Local, national and international advertising experiences in the hardware industry provided George with invaluable skills when it came to publishing his historical works.

A founding member of the Auglaize County Historical Society in 1963, Mr. Neargarder has served as the Society's President and Vice President. In 1973, George served on the St. Marys Sesquicentennial Committee, the 150th Anniversary celebration of the St. Marys community. In 1994, he served on the Centennial Celebration Committee of the Auglaize County Court House, raising funds to restore the copper lady of justice statue that currently stands in the Auglaize County Court House in Wapakoneta, Ohio. In 1997, George continued with his service on the Auglaize County Sesquicentennial Committee, which organized a year of activities celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Auglaize County. These activities certainly assisted Mr. Neargarder in publishing his first and third historical works. His first hardbound work, titled: "The Combined Atlases Of 1880, 1898, 1917 of Auglaize County, Ohio" was a reprinted and republished work that included historical information, images, maps and genealogical information that Mr. Neargarder edited and supplemented with 100 additional pages. Mr. Neargarder's third work was published in 2008. This beautiful, hardbound, full color work titled: "Auglaize County Postcard Images" included more than 200 pages displaying 600 post card images from Auglaize County communities from 1900 to 1958. The age of digital technology allowed George to develop PowerPoint presentations respectively titled: "Early History of St. Marys," "Early History of Wapakoneta," "History of Grand Lake St. Marys and The Miami & Erie Canal."

George has been a dedicated public servant to the St. Marys Community and many clubs and organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America, the Kiwanis Club, and his faith home Holy Rosary Catholic Church. His dedicated leadership and personal journey in the Catholic faith led George to publish his second historical work in 1993, titled: "History Of Holy Rosary Church." This hardbound illustrated work includes over 200 pages of history and photos of the Church, its school, its associated organizations and cemeteries.

Mr. Neargarder has also worked on lesser recognized historical projects and publications and has assisted many other local authors with their published works. In 1996, for his dedication to the St. Marys community, Mr. Neargarder was awarded the Builder of Bridges Award from the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce. In 2005, for his dedication to Greater Auglaize County, George was honored with the Auglaize County Outstanding Senior Citizen Award. Also in 2005, he received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums. In 2007, for his lifetime work, Mr. Neargarder was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.

It is for his life work and dedication to preserving the history of St. Marys, Ohio, and the Greater Auglaize County community that Mr. George L. Neargarder is inducted into the St. Marys Memorial High School Alumni Foundation Hall of Fame for Academic / Professional Achievement.

The above text, in its entirety, is embossed on a St. Marys Memorial High School Alumni Hall of Fame plaque permanently on display in Memorial High School.

George L. Neargarder passed away in 2016.

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