Awards and More Awards
The lower level of Gabby's ranch home in Gilbertsville
is a tribute to the
many things he has done and the people he has met. Certificates,
phies, and photographs line the shelves and walls.
If you asked him to choose one which means
the most, it would probably be
the Governor's Award trophy which he received on October 15,
1975 in Her-
shey, Pennsylvania, making him "Mr. Aviation of Pennsylvania".
This is the
highest private honor in Pennsylvania aviation, given for outstanding
and accomplisment in the field of aviation. It is presented
each year at the
Aviation Council of Pennsylvania's annual banquet.
Mr. Aviation of Pennsylvania
Amy Renninger heard the news a few days before the banquet, but
sworn to secrecy, as were his friends in the Pottstown Aircraft
Owners and Pi-
lots club. Amy had a tough time convincing her husband
to dress up for the trip
to Hershey. Gabby was detemined to wear his brown suit
because "I won't be
speaking or anything." Amy insisted he wear his new checkered
sport jacket, a
white shirt, and a new tie selected to be worn with the jacket.
Gabby entered the Hershey Convention Center, having absolutely
that he was the person being honored. He picked up a few
and stuffed them in his pocket without looking at them.
Had he done so he
would have seen his photograph and the amouncement.
Just a few minutes before the program began, a woman attending
eon walked up to him and offered congratulations. But
Gabby was still stunned
when the official announcement was made. For perhaps the
first time in his life
this man of many words was speechless.
In the audience were at least 275 people, fellow aviation enthusiasts,
cil officials, pilots, special guests, the officers of the Pottstown
club, and the
late Pottstown Mayor Ed Jamison. They rose as one person
in a standing ova-
tion when Aviation Comcil President Wilfred M. Post Jr. announced
"Gabby" Renninger was the 1975 recipient of the Govemor's Award,
ing the presentation a representative of Pennsylvania Govenor
Shapp read a
congratulatory message from the Govenor.
Gabby could hardly wait to get home and show the beautiful trophy
Amy. He greeted her with a big kiss.
Earlier, in October 21, 1966, Gabby had been honored by the Aviation
Council of Pennsylvania with the Distinguished Aviation Citizen
impressive plaque was presented at a luncheon in Willamsport.
Another signficant honor was the presentation of a plaque on
1990 by the national AOPA, reading: