Founded in 2005 by Joe Barton, Gary Buerk, and Jesse Bernal, 3B Productions has raised the bar for excellence in community theatre in the Toledo area. Striving to produce professional quality shows with the amazing talent Northwest Ohio possesses has been the goal of the organization since its inception. True to that statement, 3B Productions has won many awards at Regional and State OCTA Theatre festivals including accolades in directing, acting, choreography, and costuming, among others. 3B is also one of the few theatre organizations in the Toledo area daring enough to produce new and rarely done works such as Songs for a New World, Little Women, and The Civil War
Gary Franklin Buerk, age 77, of Whitehouse, OH passed away peacefully on May 10, 2021. He was born on June 26, 1943, in Toledo, Ohio to Gale F. and Signa V. (Hanifan) Buerk. Gary was raised in the Waterville area graduating from Anthony Wayne High School in 1961 and spent most of his life in the area. He attended the University of Dayton before serving two years in the United States Air Force. Following his service, he took a variety of courses at Ferris State University and The University of Toledo. Gary began his career working as a florist at Joe I. Cooper. He graciously shared his artistic talents not only with his family where he arranged flowers for over seventeen family weddings, but also with his extended family and his community. He ornately decorated the Toledo Club during the Christmas holiday season for over 30 years as well as many area residences during the holiday season.
In the mid-1980s, Gary started his own business. As founder of G&S Swimming Pools, he was able to transform his client’s backyard dreams into reality with his expertise in pool design and installation. One of his first pool designs at his late mother’s home in Waterville was an award winner and created decades of unforgettable summertime memories. Today, several of his nieces and nephews continue to enjoy the fruits of his labor after he installed pools at their homes for the next generation to enjoy.
Gary was known for his great love and knowledge of Indian folklore. He enjoyed learning about historical events and participating in re-enactments at Fort Meigs in Perrysburg. One of Gary’s greatest passions in life was the theatre. It was in the theatre where he poured his heart and soul. He had an incredible work ethic and was happiest with a tool in his hand building something. This was evident in every show he was involved in and displayed in the intricate design and attention to detail in sets, costumes, and lighting. As one of the owners of 3B Productions, Gary brought numerous performances and dinner theatres to the local community. As the owner of Kostumes, Limited, Gary brought entertainment and joy to many. He costumed entire casts for theatrical productions, school plays and musicals. He also provided costumes for the general public. Kostumes was renowned for being the place where “Halloween hangs out all year”. In 2019, Gary was awarded the highly prestigious Ohio Community Theatre Award (OCTA) for his outstanding contributions to local theatre.
Gary loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He enjoyed the little things in life and lived every day to the fullest with kindness and love to all. Gary will be deeply missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his husband, Donald O’Neal, son, Gregory (Alie) Buerk, daughter, Gwendolyn (Eric) Rutkowski, grandchildren Willow, Delilah, Eden, Cheyanne, Rhiannon and Payton, brother Philip (Debra) Buerk, and sister Karen (Christopher) Brennan, and many nieces, nephews and friends. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Gale and Signa Buerk, and sister, Mary Gale (Buerk) Mueller.