Sad News – Gavin Gracyk’s Father Loses Battle Against Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Sad News….
Early Tuesday morning (Jan. 8, 2007) the motocross community lost a great man, Gary Gracyk, father of AMA SX/MX racer Gavin Gracyk. Gary had been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and fought hard against the ravages of the disease. Monday afternoon, as soon as Gavin got word that his Dad’s condition had taken a turn for the worst, he flew home to Blissfield, Ohio from southern California. Gavin and his mom were at Gary’s side when he passed.

Gary (47 years young) was a wonderful father, husband and was admired by many. Gavin’s dad was a constant source of encouragement and inspiration throughout Gavin’s life and career in motocross. Even as the ALS confined Gary to a wheelchair he could be seen at the side of the track pushing Gavin hard to get better and cheering him on at High Point, Steele City and Southwick…

In addition to the constant love, support and guidance he showed Gavin, Gary founded the S.O.A.R. (School Of Advanced Racing) Academy, was a member of Gospel Hill Ministries, a youth teacher at Gospel Hill A to J, founder of the A.L.S. group of Coshocton County, an AMA member, a professional motocross instructor, involved in Big Brothers / Big Sisters, church league bowling and softball, and enjoyed working with kids and helping others.

Gary touched many people in the sport, just ask anyone who went to visit the house, Gary would be out at the track giving pointers trying to help every rider get faster. Off the track, Gary would have you running hills with your bike on your back, he believed in nothing short of a 110%!!!

This is the second great loss in Gavin’s life in just over a year….having lost his fiancĂ© Nikalee Boatman a little over a year ago in October 2006. Gavin and his family ask everyone to please understand their need to have private time to grieve, and respect Gavin’s desire to concentrate on the pending race this coming weekend. Gavin is competing in the AMA SX West Coast Lites series, where he finished 7th overall at the season opener in Anaheim last weekend, and he plans on racing the next round in Phoenix, AZ this weekend.

The family would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern, well wishes and prayers. Special thanks to Gavin’s coach/trainer Drew Robertson, his mechanic Dave Derosier (and his wife Sarah) and the rest of Gavin’s extended family at Troy Lee Designs for helping them get through this difficult time.

Calling hours are from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 9, 2008, at theFischer Funeral Home at 412 E Main St., Warsaw, OH.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, January 10, 2008,at Gospel Hill 27610 TR 45, Warsaw, OH 43844 with Rev. Ron Davis officiating.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial contributions be made to:S.O.A.R. Academy, c/o Ohio Heritage Bank, 200 Main St., Coshocton, OH 43812or to Gospel Hill Ministries, 27610 TR 45, Warsaw, OH 43844.