Rismillers honored for lifetime of service


NORTH STAR — In the heart of rural tranquility resides an extraordinary couple whose lives have been dedicated to both nurturing the land and protecting their community. Jim and Gayle Rismiller have served as stewards of the land and the North Star community for over four decades, and they have been selected to serve at the Parade Marshals for the 2023 North Star Picnic.

Jim, a volunteer firefighter and EMS first responder, answered countless calls over his 45 year tenure, selflessly putting himself in harm’s way to safeguard lives and properties. According to Former Fire Chief Bill Roll, “Jim was always dependable, especially during the day when it can be hard to get guys out there.” Jim would routinely drop everything he was doing in order to assist his friends and neighbors in times of distress and personal loss. His experience as a firefighter was so greatly valued that he also assumed multiple leadership positions, including serving as a board member and the fire company president for five years.

Jim’s profession as a farmer allowed him the flexibility needed to respond to fire calls no matter the time of day. Born into a farming family, his connection to the earth runs deep. For over four decades, he nurtured his farm, rearing market cattle, tending to crops, and fostering a profound respect for the land. The early mornings and long days spent toiling in the fields instilled in him an unwavering work ethic and an innate understanding of the delicate balance between humans and nature. Recently retired after selling the last of his livestock, he continues to oversee his farm, which has been in his family since the 1940s.

Jim’s commitment to saving lives and serving the community is one that he shares with his wife of 43 years, Gayle. In addition to working for the Darke County Municipal Court, Gayle volunteered her time for over four decades as an EMT for Ansonia Rescue. The life of an EMT is one that demands courage, resilience, and quick thinking. Gayle spent countless hours on the frontlines, responding to emergencies ranging from car accidents to heart attacks, and everything in between. She mastered the art of remaining calm under pressure, assessing situations swiftly, and administering life-saving treatments with precision. Gayle’s years of service to Ansonia Rescue is invaluable and the surrounding community owes her and Jim a great debt of gratitude.

Jim and Gayle’s lifetime of service to the North Star community is something they have instilled in their children, and both look forward to enjoying semi-retirement after passing the torch to the next generation. With the last of his livestock gone, they plan to” travel and camp more,” including spending time at their pond with their children. Jim and Gayle are parents to four sons, Darren, Craig, Mark, and Justin, and proud grandparents to Riley, Sam, Tate, Eli, and Emily (Darren); Lily (Craig and wife Firouzeh); Blake, Ian, and Molly (Mark and wife Janelle); and Cooper and Hallie (Justin and wife Jamie). Inspired by their parents’ work ethic and commitment to service, both Darren and Mark are third generation firefighters in addition to farming full time.

The Rismillers’ commitment to public service has also spilled over into their personal lives. They regularly attend St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and serve as council members. Jim also serves as a board member for the Darke County Farm Bureau. They’re especially looking forward to this year’s North Star Picnic and consider it a “great honor, to be sure” to be chosen as this year’s parade marshals. Gayle in particular said she looks forward to the picnic every year because “You get to see all of your neighbors and friends. It’s like having a party at your house when you don’t have to clean it!”

The 71st annual North Star Picnic looks to be the best party of the year for the community. On Friday, the festivities kick off with a co-ed softball tournament starting at 6:30 pm and acoustic entertainment by local talented musicians starting at 8:30 p.m. with plenty of frosty beverages suiting a variety of tastes. On Saturday, the picnic hosts a Cruise-In Car Show from 6-9 p.m., a Local Celebrity Schoolyard Softball game at 6:30 p.m., and music by the Hammer Jockeys from 8-11:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the 26th annual Angel Run 5K to remember all lost loved ones will kick off at 9 a.m. The parade begins at 2 p.m., followed by the Pedal Tractor Pull at 3:15 p.m., a Cornhole Tournament at 4 p.m., a presentation including live animals by Darke County Parks in the Shelter House at 5 p.m., and the ever-popular Dodgeball Tournament at 6:30 p.m. The night caps off with live entertainment by Limited Time from 6-8 p.m. and the Raffle Drawing at 9 p.m. In addition to these scheduled events, the Picnic also includes a bouncy house, games for little ones, and a dunk tank sponsored by Kinder Korner Preschool. The Lunch Stand serving the world’s best cheeseburgers, hotdogs, french fries, and more will also be open throughout the weekend.

Please come out and enjoy the festivities at the North Star Community Center from July 14-16 and support the North Star Community Fire Department, North Star Community Association, and the North Star American Legion.

No posts to display