Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

October 22, 2020
For whom the bell tolls… This writer remembers Gary Fawson

“No man is an island,” wrote the English poet John Donne almost four centuries ago. 

While proofreading obituaries I often reflect on Dunne’s philosophy, “Any man’s death diminishes me.”

Every person’s death, regardless of stature or prominence, is significant. 

Oftentimes I read obituaries about people I never met, but the writer paints a vivid image of a person whose death I mourn even though I never knew them.

While an individual’s faith may take some of the sting out of death with a promise of the eternal nature of human relationships and the joy of a future reunion, their separation from this mortal world still gives reason to mourn.

Some of those deaths I read about are more personal to me.

It was with great sadness that I read about the passing of Gary Fawson, of Grantsville, two weeks ago.

I have not seen Gary for some time and his death came as a surprise.

I had just thought about Gary earlier that day while looking at a photograph of the burial of a time capsule in Grantsville. 

Gary wasn’t in the photograph, but when I think about Grantsville my mind often turns to Gary.

I met Gary on one of my first assignments as a writer for the Transcript Bulletin somewhere around 13 years ago. It was at a  planning commission meeting. The meeting was my first public meeting as a full-time reporter.

Gary was a member of the planning commission. At the start of the meeting somebody introduced me as the new reporter from the Transcript Bulletin.

After the meeting was over, Gary made a beeline off the stand and sought me out. 

He introduced himself and asked a few questions about how the paper was doing. 

He talked a little about his own experience in the journalism business with the “Grantsville Gazette.”

During the time I covered Grantsville City, I talked with Gary frequently. 

It was pre-recession. Grantsville was growing. 

The planning commission was busy.

I interviewed Gary for stories frequently about growth and other planning commission business. He was very personable, polite, and always returned my calls — sometimes he called me. 

Gary was open and honest with his thoughts, which I appreciated.

I also worked with Gary on stories about Tree City USA and the City’s tree campaign program.

Gary’s heart was in Grantsville. He loved the place.

I regret I never took advantage of the Tooele Master Gardeners Tour to see his backyard. I heard him describe it and I have seen photographs. I understand he created a masterpiece there.

After being reassigned to cover Tooele City and then Tooele County, I didn’t see Gary often. 

But I will always remember him reaching out to me at that first meeting.

Grantsville and Tooele County are better places because of dedicated and passionate people like Gary.

I imagine Gary is still working hard where he is now, but still finds time for a well deserved rest in the shade of a tree.

‘Til we meet again, Gary.

Tim Gillie

Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim has been writing for the Transcript Bulletin since October 2017. In February 2019 he was named as editor. In addition to being editor, Tim continues to write about Tooele County government, education, business, real estate, housing, politics and the state Legislature.A native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University, Tim became a journalist after a 20 year career with the Boy Scouts of America.

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