For the past dozen years or so, if you wanted to know the construction status of a Habitat for Humanity home in Adams County, what was due to happen next, which volunteer groups were due to work when, which weekends had plenty of volunteers and when help was needed, when the project would need electricians, or any of a dozen other things about construction status, the person you wanted to talk to was Bob (Coach) Remaley.
No longer, because Remaley has stepped down from his position as Volunteer Coordinator. That title doesn’t begin to encompass the range of duties the Habitat chapter will be trying to replace. For years, Remaley was the walking book of knowledge about project status, work planning, and scheduling.
Every weekend REmaley signed in all the volunteers, assessed their skill levels, and made sure every volunteer had an assignment that matched their skills. “As an all-volunteer organization,” said Habitat chapter president Sue Pindle, “we rely on people to take significant responsibility, and not many had a bigger job than Coach. We’ve been looking for his replacement for a year now.”
Over the years, Remaley said, he enjoyed the work and was happy to feel he was making a contribution. But the real reason he stuck with it so long was that “I enjoyed the friends I made through Habitat.”
Remaley did clear up one mystery: where the “Coach” nickname came from. When he first showed up to volunteer at the Carpenter Village construction site (next to the Gettysburg Times office) more than 25 years ago, he was wearing a Fairfield High School track and field ballcap. Steve Dague, Habitat’s longtime (and still) construction coordinator, started calling him “Coach” (“It was easier for him to call me Coach than to remember my name along with the other volunteers,” said Remaley.” And it stuck.”)
The local Habitat chapter was founded in the late 1980s and has built more than 50 affordable dwellings in Adams County, including Carpenter Village. It is presently building one home in Hunterstown, in partnership with Adams County Technical Institute, and is just beginning construction for a duplex in Littlestown.
Featured image caption: Caption: Mark Reaver, Leon Reed, Remaley, President Sue Pindle, Lynn Cairns, Linda Larson, Bob Boehner, Lori Wright
Leon Reed, freelance reporter, is a former US Senate staff member, defense consultant, and history teacher. He is a seven year resident of Gettysburg, where he writes military history and explores the park and the Adams County countryside. He is the publisher at Little Falls Books, chaired the Adams County 2020 Census Complete Count Committee and is on the board of SCCAP and the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. He and his wife, Lois, have 3 children, 3 cats, and 5 grandchildren.