PDT Staff Writer
Our community has lost a great man this weekend. Longtime community member and a friend to all, Nick Gampp lost his life.
There is no doubt in my mind that Nick was loved by everyone he came in contact with over the years.
Nick was an Art and History professor at Shawnee State University and a member of Sunshine Church of Christ in Minford. He also was a florist, local artist and active in the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center and area garden clubs.
“Nick loved his work and he loved his students,” SSU President Dr. Rita Rice Morris said about him. “He touched many lives through teaching — and through his art. We will miss his influence on our Fine Arts Department and our campus. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, his family, and all who were fortunate enough to have known him.”
During my time at Shawnee State I majored in Fine Arts and I had the pleasure of taking numerous art classes with him. He became a treasured friend.
Nick was known for sharing his artwork, such as beautiful collages, made from things he found around the house or along his daily journey. He made one I fell in love with and had to have. After it was displayed in the Appleton Gallery in the Vern Riffe Center of the Arts, I expressed my desire to purchase it. To make a long story short, I ended up with the collage and it has hung in my house ever since.
Even though I graduated college six years ago and have seen Nick once or twice in that time, I still called him a friend.
As an example of the impact he had on this community and the SSU community, when the news broke on Facebook of his passing it was within a matter of minutes people were expressing their sorrow and fond memories.
One of his former students posted this comment, “He was a one-of-a-kind for sure. He taught many people not just about art but how to embrace it with passion. He was the only professor that has taught several members of family and we never have felt so blessed to have had him in our lives.”
The scripture 2 Timothy 4:7 comes to mind, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
As this community says goodbye to a great man, it is my hope and prayer that we will be thankful for the people we have in our lives.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.