Gary L. Hiles passed away peacefully on January 12, 2022, at the age of 79. He was born in Zanesville, Ohio, the only child of Max L. Hiles and Mary Elizabeth "Betty" (Raile) Hiles. He spent most of his youth in Zanesville where he honed his athletic ability. He lettered in four sports, but it was baseball that captured his passion. He was a lefty pitcher and a switch hitter with a powerful bat. He moved to Cambridge for his senior year in high school, played American Legion ball and was offered a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. He decided on college instead, moving to Columbus where he earned a degree in Business Administration from Franklin University and met his future wife of 55 years, Gwen.
The majority of his business career was spent in the field of transportation, first managing a vehicle fleet for Ross Laboratories and later for Mettler-Toledo. In between was a short stint with NCR Systemedia Marketing in Dayton, a position that resulted in a move to Choctaw Lake just north of London, a perfect location for a family who loved boating. After years of working for large international companies, he and Gwen joined forces to develop a successful franchised printing center in Hilliard, Ohio. They sold the business in 2005 allowing some much-deserved time for retirement travel including a trip abroad for a fabulous 40th wedding anniversary celebration.
Besides being an avid boater, Gary loved model trains. In his childhood home, his father had built a layout for him that folded up against the wall like a Murphy bed. He revived that interest in trains by designing and building a huge layout he called "Garyville" that contained bits of his past including replicas of Raile's Flowers, his grandparents’ business, and the Eclipse Laundry where his dad had been General Manager. He shared his love of modeling with others as a member of the Delaware County Model Railroaders Group.
Gary was a lifelong fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes as well as the Cleveland Indians (now Guardians) and the Cleveland Browns. He also loved the Big Red Machine and rooted for the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals as long as they weren't playing his Cleveland teams.
Young people always held a special place for Gary. In his early business career, he mentored teens through Junior Achievement. Later the Hilliard Kiwanis "Young Children Priority 1" program gave him the privilege of working with Special Olympics athletes who simply melted his heart. He also had a soft spot for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital believing as Danny Thomas did that "no child should die in the dawn of life."
Gary was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by the true love and pride of his life, his family: wife Gwendolyn Joslin Hiles; children Kristen Jacobsson, her husband Kirk Jacobsson, Jayme Daugherty, her husband Terrence Daugherty; and granddaughter Elle Jacobsson. Several cousins, his extended family, and friends also morn his passing.
According to Gary's wishes, his body will be cremated, and a private celebration of his life will be held at a later date. He loved to tell and hear stories so please visit www.tiddfuneralhomes.com to share your memories with his family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.