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GA Bids Farewell to Gentle Giant

Students and colleagues said a final goodbye to Greenwich Academy physical education teacher and coach O'Neil Medley at a memorial service Sunday. The 36-year-old Stamford resident died July 4 after he lost control of his motorcycle.

"He was a valuable member of the physical education department," GA athletic director Angela Tammaro was quoted as saying in published reports. "He was such a gentle giant. Someone seeing him for the first time might be scared because he was 6-foot-5 and a weightlifter. But he was so gentle."

The memorial service was filled with tears and laughter as friends, family, students and fellow teachers shared memories.

Medley joined the physical education department in 2001 and served as varsity basketball head coach, varsity volleyball assistant coach and varsity softball assistant coach. He helped many students over the years and was a popular teacher. To honor his legacy, GA established a scholarship in his name so that a scholar or athlete who embodies the qualities O'Neil exhibited can attend Greenwich Academy.

"O'Neil was in many ways the reality check that each and everyone one of us needed at the end of our day," said Shelly Rose, a 2007 GA graduate. "He never sugarcoated anything, never babied anyone and never gave up hope in anyone. He instilled in each and every one of his students a determination, a drive if you will.

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