ROYCE GERBER: Dallastown community to honor memory of coach, teacher on Sunday
Royce Gerber dedicated his life to helping students — inside and outside of the classroom.
Whether he was working to build up the drivers' education program at Dallastown High School or providing instruction to young athletes, Gerber went about his job without seeking recognition.
Gerber, 70, a longtime teacher and coach (basketball and baseball) died on Oct. 5 following a long battle with cancer.
A Celebration of Life service for Gerber will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Dallastown High School auditorium.
"It was never about him," Gerber's friend and fellow coach, Jeff Barkdoll, said. "He cared about every player he ever coached."
Barkdoll played on Dallastown's junior varsity baseball team when Gerber was the coach.
"He didn't just teach fundamentals, he taught life skills," said Barkdoll, who's the baseball coach at Penn State York.
When Barkdoll began coaching at Dallastown, he got to know his former coach even better.
"Royce knew fundamentals better than anyone I ever met. For the past 20 years or so, he's been by my side as my mentor," Barkdoll said.
Gerber was by Dick Shoff's side for almost 30 years during Shoff's time as Dallastown's head baseball coach. Shoff was the head coach and Gerber was his assistant.
"Royce was so good with kids and getting things across to them, like hitting behind the runner or executing the double steal, without screaming and hollering," Shoff said. "He was driven in whatever he did, whether it was building up the drivers' ed program, coaching or scouting an upcoming opponent."
Former Dallastown baseball coach Don Trout said Gerber had a tremendous impact on so many people for 40 years.
"At the service, they'll need three sections, one for teaching, one for baseball and one for basketball," Trout said.
Shoff said that during Gerber's most recent stay in the hospital, there was "a constant flow of ex-players and friends" stopping in to visit him.
Considering all the lives he touched, there should be a large number of people at Dallastown on Sunday to remember Gerber.
"Everyone who will be there will have their own memories," Barkdoll said.
— Reach Dick VanO'Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.