Gary Rehm Jr., 37, was no longer an Elyria resident on the day he died, but the veteran who lost his life at sea while serving in the U.S. Navy will forever he honored as an Elyria son.
Rehm was a chief fire controlman who attended school in Elyria and Oberlin as well as the Lorain County Joint Vocational School. He died along with six others on June 18 while aboard the U.S.S. Fitzgerald after the destroyer collided with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan. He was about a year and three months away from retirement at the time of his death and has been hailed as a hero for his efforts to save others during the catastrophe that claimed his life.
An August memorial service and celebration of Rehm's life held at the Elyria Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1079 allowed veterans, friends, city and county officials to honor the sailor. Prayers were said, veterans saluted a photo of Rehm, the American flag was folded and presented to Rehm's aunt and uncle, a bagpiper played "Amazing Grace" and taps was played after a rifle volley.