Who Was Gary “Moe” Meszaros?
A lifelong resident of Mercer County, Gary Meszaros attended the former St. Joseph Catholic School and graduated from Sharon High School, class of 1964.
Gary proudly served in the U.S. Army with the 1st Calvary in An Khe, Vietnam, in the S-2 Intelligence Unit. After receiving an honorable discharge in 1967, he returned to Sharon and owned & operated Valley Carpet Care while attending Youngstown State University, majoring in business administration.
Gary co-founded the Old Express Ltd. Restaurant Corp. and operated Tully’s, The Old Express Restaurant, Freight House Night Club in Sharon, as well as The Seafood Express, both in Sharon & Warren, OH.
In 1974, he opened the first Quaker Steak & Lube®. He was involved and oversaw 64 restaurants in 16 states & Canada. In addition to restaurant operations, Gary started the Bavarian Fun Fest, Small Ships Revue & numerous other community events & fundraisers. Upon his retirement, he continued to serve on The Lube® board of directors. He has received numerous business awards, including the National Restaurant Associations Concepts of Tomorrow. Quaker Steak & Lube®, under his management, has received hundreds of awards for concept & design, as well as Best Wings USA & many awards for its sauces.
Gary also received many personal awards, including the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year & the Boy Scouts of Americas Distinguished Citizen of the Year.
Gary was awarded the Henry & Catherine Evans Community Service Award in 2013 from F.H. Buhl Club. He also was a 2013 inductee to the Sharon High School Hall of Fame.
Gary is credited with bringing the vision of WaterFire Sharon to the area. It was he who encouraged a small group of local business people to visit Providence, R.I., to witness the original event. They returned as believers & Gary led the process to bring it home to the Shenango Valley.
He was a former member of the Sharon Social Fishing Club, Lake Muskoka, Canada; a founder & longtime member of Penn Northwest Development Corp.; & a founder & member of the Shenango Valley Industrial Development Corp. He survived for more than 45 years as president of a group of close friends of more than 50 years called TOOTERS.
It was perhaps his most difficult endeavor.
Gary enjoyed spending as much time as he could at the cottage & although he was a world traveler, he saw nothing as beautiful as a sunset over Lake Erie.
Why We Formed The Meszaros Family Charitable Foundation?
Gary loved this community. He always had a desire to make the Shenango Valley the best place to raise a family. In order to achieve this, he served on the board of directors for a number of organizations. The Salvation Army, The Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce, SEED, and The O'Brien Children’s Memorial Fund are just a sampling of the groups to which Gary donated his time.
In addition, Gary was the founding President of the Strimbu Memorial Fund, a position he held for seven years, and served as Chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, and he proudly directed its move to the current headquarters located on Fisher Hill St. in Sharon.
Gary not only had a desire to make this valley a great place to raise a family, he wanted to give people a reason to come here. With events like The Small Ships Revue, Bavarian Fun Fest, Bike Nites at The Lube, and most recently Waterfire, he did just that. He truly helped this community stay afloat. Due in large part to his visions our community has seen growth. It has become a place where outside visitors come to enjoy events, to enjoy this community, and to love this valley as Gary did.
With the passing of Gary in August of 2015, The Meszaros Family Charitable Foundation was formed. Our goal is to continue to follow in his footsteps; to make this a community where people want to raise their families, come to visit and come back to stay. Gary was about creating fun, creating a sense of community, and most importantly creating friendships.
Thank you for helping us carry on his legacy, and may God bless you.