By Jeremy McDonald
GERVAIS, Ore.— Family is family.
Gervais’ Pablo Jaramillo certainly left his mark on the Gervais community. Parent, youth coach, mentor, community member.
His reach touched so many people’s lives. Whenever you went to a game, he was probably there. I remember walking by him a lot at Gervais basketball games, saying a quick hello as I either walked in or took pictures of the game inches away.
Pablo’s five kids either graduated or still attend Gervais High School.
Maya, Adam, Tiana, Derrick all graduated as a Cougar, Isabel is currently a sophomore at Gervais.
“He’s a really giving guy. He’s super humble, so he’s definitely not the guy who…he wouldn’t ask for this. He probably didn’t expect this. Looking down, he’s probably crying,” smiled Derrick Jaramillio, who graduated from Gervais in 2017.
Pablo passed away Wednesday after a battle with kidney problems. A few days earlier, on Sunday, he was given a month to live.
Quickly, and swiftly, the community he planted his roots in jumped into action.
Gilbert Contreras came up with the idea about adding ten minutes to Friday’s ‘Be The Light’ event for Jaramillo. Contreras approached Cougar Boys Basketball Head Coach Ben Schultz, who’s been the DJ and making sure people keep their social distance during the event up to this point. Schultz, upon hearing the idea, ran with it to see what they can do.
“Anything for him, especially when it’s hard right now when we can’t do anything. Pablo, he was still a coach of our junior team. He never said no, he always wanted to help,” said Schultz. “It’s sad to see him go, but we move on. In his name we’re going to dedicate this next year, both in boys and the girls because he did coach both girls and boys.
“It’s a hard thing, but he still has a young girl that’s still in High School…a sophomore. We came up with the idea for an extra ten minutes. Family gave us some songs to play and then moved on.”
Athletic Director Tim Bowman had taught all but Pablo’s youngest in Isabel in his 15 years at Gervais. Ten minutes that they were doing Friday was just the tip of the iceberg for the man that was Pablo Jaramillo.
“I think with the turnout of the crowd, tells you what he meant to the community. Ten minutes is a very small amount of time for someone like him. He’s just an incredible man, ” starts Bowman. “You look at all of the kids that came through. He did all the coaching of the youth groups.
“He coached with Kyle with his girls were coming up. He’s been coaching with Ben with the boys coming up. Baseball, softball. Every sport you can imagine, Pablo has been apart of. Christy was there beside him to help him. Just a great family.”
When 8:40 hit, and most schools call it a night, around Gervais’ track groups marched. Separated by six feet they walked by the scoreboard with ‘2020’ on it. They walked by the homestead, some holding lights and others showing emotion of the moment.
They came around the last two corners by Douglas Avenue with music continually playing over the stadium speakers.
When they finished, some embraced. Others talked, taking in the moment.
In total, there were maybe 30, 40 people there to pay respect to a man gone too soon. A parent, a mentor, a coach and a community member. They all have memories of one Pablo Jaramillo that they will always hang onto for the rest of their lives.
They’ll remember how humble he was and how giving he was. Family is family and Pablo certainly left his mark on the Gervais community that he, and his family, called home.