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County Residents sad to learn that Gary Rexroat passed away over the weekend

Gary Rexroat, PA, passed away on Saturday, July 18, after a long battle with cancer. Dr. Gary as he was fondly known by those who knew him best in Gilchrist County.
Rexroat moved to this area when he was just 24 years old and was the county’s physician’s assistant. He saw patients at the old University of Florida Clinic which was located across from the Gilchrist County Commissioners Meeting Room, (old Church of Christ) in Trenton.
The Rexroats were natives of Kentucky and moved here after Rexroat completed his tour of duty as a Corpsman in the US Navy in Vietnam. He received a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.
Generations of Gilchrist County citizens trusted Rexroat with their health. He worked at Trenton Medical Center, then started the Chiefland Medical Center with Ted Burt and Tammie Sanders. Later he worked at the UF Clinic in Old Town. Where ever Rexroat moved, his loyal patients would follow. His knowledge, remarkable bedside manner and caring country doctor personality endeared him to the citizens of Gilchrist, Levy and Dixie County.
Rexroat was named Citizen of the Year in 1980 and was the J. Min Ayers Lifetime Achievement Award winner in the year 2004. Rexroat also served as a Gilchrist County School Board Member for 20 years.
He worked tirelessly to help bring the Ayers Health & Rehabilitation Center to Trenton some years ago. The facility has also provided many jobs for citizens of this area for the past 38 years.
“Gary Rexroat was a true visionary! Long before the opening of “Medic-Ayers Nursing Center”, now Ayers Health and Rehabilitation Center, Gary put together a team of individuals that could see that Gilchrist County would need a place to care for their elders. He worked hard at establishing the funds and certificates to start our center and the ground breaking in 1982. Over time he supported us in so many ways! We took care of many of his patients, he helped students get involved in training programs, he educated us and calmed our fears. He was a gentle giant. This was a major achievement for him and we have provided care to approximately 10,000 people.  Gary spent a little time with us in rehab and I had the chance to sit with him and reflect on our services before he headed home. Gary was  proud of how we had grown and had been able to offer such a special type of care with respect and dignity. He will always be the person that touches my heart and makes me understand the importance of giving to others” said Joanna Buckles, Administrator at Ayers Health and Rehabilitation Center in Trenton.