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Oly teacher dies from heart failure

Darryl Gellert -
Darryl Gellert
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The signs of sorrow were eminent at Olympic High School on Monday after students and staff heard of the death of Darryl Gellert, a teacher in the business education department.

Gellert, who had been a teacher at OHS for 28 years, passed away last Wednesday after having a heart attack. He was 61 years old.

“Darryl was always positive,” said OHS Assistant Principal Doyle Clouser. “He was always smiling, a positive force in the building.”

“There’s not a kid that has anything less than nice to say about him,” said Jim Rosendale, fellow OHS teacher and golf coach.

Rosendale added that Gellert brought a sense of love to the game of golf, and embodied what it means to be a teacher.

“He was magnificent,” Rosendale added. “He never tried to be larger than life, but he couldn’t help being it.”

A substitute teacher has been scheduled to cover Gellert’s classes, and the district has arranged for three floating substitute teachers as needed for staff. Additional counselors, along with the school’s counselors, will be available for students and staff before, during and after school.

“He was a cool dad, a good husband, a great friend and a wonderful educator,” Rosendale added. “To know him was to be better because of it.”

Born in Everett, Gellert lived in Monroe, Wash. until he moved to Brookings, Ore. in 1959. He moved to Cave Junction, Ore. one year later, and graduated from Illinois Valley High School in Cave Junction in 1964.

After graduation, Gellert received his degree in finance from Gonzaga University in 1968. That same year, he was drafted into the Army and spent two years as a military police officer. Discharged two years later, Gellert then went on to work in Northern California at Wells Fargo Bank and then Penn Mutual Life Insurance.

In 1972, Gellert obtained his teaching degree from the University of Washington. While pursuing a career in teaching, Gellert worked on the Alaska pipeline as an operating engineer for two years. In 1975, he taught one year at Shoreline High School and then taught for three years at Central Kitsap High School, beginning in 1976. In 1979, Gellert began teaching at OHS.

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