Faces in the Crowd: Jeremy Teare

By Aaron Michell
Correspondent

By his own admission, Jeremy Teare has tried to escape Marion. But for whatever reason, the small town just keeps drawing him back in.

Born and raised in Flint, Jeremy moved to Marion in 1997 with his mother Char, and his two brothers, Jason and Josh. He graduated from Marion two years later, and soon after met his wife Monica. Despite Monica being from McBain, and Jeremy being from Marion, the two have been able to overcome their rivalry long enough to raise their two boys, Ethan and Preston.
But Jeremy has also played a huge role in caring for other locals as well. Currently, Jeremy serves as an aide and caretaker for Ethan Wilson, a senior at Marion High School. In that role, Jeremy and Ethan have become buddies, making each other’s lives better every single day.

Another one of Jeremy’s buddies is Kyle Schmidt of McBain. Over the years, Jeremy has served as a caretaker and aide for Kyle and considers him to be one of his best friends.

It’s easy to see that Jeremy genuinely loves his job and the people he works with. He loves his hometown, he loves his family, and takes pride in making things better for others.

We were fortunate enough to catch up with Jeremy recently where he gave us a little insight into who he is and what he’s all about. We found out that he’s much more than just another face in the crowd.

Jeremy Teare and Kyle Schmidt. Jeremy has served as a caretaker and aide for Kyle for many years and considers him as one of his best friends.

Jeremy Teare and Kyle Schmidt. Jeremy has served as a caretaker and aide for Kyle for many years and considers him as one of his best friends.

Marion Press: A lot of people know you as an aide for Ethan Wilson here at the high school, what has that experience been like?
Jeremy: The best person I’ve ever worked with in my whole entire life. And I’ve done this work for quite a while. My son is handicapped – he was born with a heart defect. We had no idea about that. So, when he was born they did an arterial switch. And when he was three we found out he had cerebral palsy. And when he was four we found out he was on the autism spectrum. And then I have experience with my sister-in-law – she’s cognitively impaired and epileptic. And before I took this job, I was working with a gentleman from McBain, Kyle Schmidt. He’s in a wheelchair. He’s a riot. He’s like a brother. This work has just kind of followed me.
It’s Ethan’s senior year. He does his academic work up at the Wexford-Missaukee ISD, and then he comes back here at about 11. And he has three classes here and he loves music. He absolutely loves music. He’s just a ray of sunshine around here. He’s so fun. His favorite song is You are My Sunshine. He doesn’t talk but he hums.

MP: How did you make your way to Marion?
Jeremy: I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. And I went to McGrath Elementary and Grand Blanc Middle School. And then the summer of my eighth-grade year, my mom met a guy who had family in Harrison, so she uprooted us, and we went to Harrison. And then I came here my tenth-grade year, and I’ve been here ever since.
I’ve been here with my two brothers, Jason and Josh, and my mom Char.
After high school I met my wife, Monica – she went to McBain – and you know how McBain and Marion are rivals? So that was kind of fun getting to know her. We still razz each other; she’s a ‘Bainer for life.

MP: So Marion was probably a little bit different than Flint?
Jeremy: Oh my gosh, culture shock. It was crazy. Down there you’re in the middle of the city. In each class, we had like 1200 kids. And going from that to here that was such a culture shock. I was like, what in the world did mom do to us? But we adapted over the years and we have many friends, still to this day. Marion’s a great community. Very small, tight-knit community – everyone has your back. When our son was in the hospital the community threw a fundraiser for us. When you’re away with your kid, you’re not focused on anything else, and the bills pile up, and before you know it it’s like what the heck. That’s the best thing about living in a small community – they really have your back.

MP: How did you meet your wife?
Jeremy: That was crazy meeting her. I was working at the Irish Inn and one of her friends, Amy Wilson, was a waitress. We were throwing a Halloween party and all of a sudden Amy shows up with this girl, and I’m thinking, ‘Who is this foxy lady?’
I was dressed as a hippie and Monica was dressed as a hippie, so that was crazy. And we were kind of eye-googling each other. And I got to know her a couple weeks later. So, we became friends. I mean, we were rivals because she went to McBain, but we were still friends. About a year later we started hanging out, and then fireworks happened, and in May it will be thirteen years that we’ve been together.
We have two boys, Ethan and Preston. Ethan is the oldest, he’s ten. Preston is four, and wild and crazy. Nothing like I was when I was younger – except he’s every bit like I was when I was younger.

Jeremy and Ethan Wilson on Halloween.

Jeremy and Ethan Wilson on Halloween.

MP: What does your family like to do for fun?
Jeremy: We love to be outdoors. We have a pool. Ethan is a fish. He wants to be in the pool in the wintertime and he doesn’t understand why he can’t be in there. I’m like, ‘Let’s go look at it buddy, it’s frozen.’ But we love being outdoors; camping, anything like that. Not a big fan of the winter and this cold. Minus twenty, no thank you.

MP: What did you like to do in high school?
Jeremy: I loved band. I was a band geek. I loved marching band. I loved doing that kind of stuff. Getting in trouble – I used to get in trouble. I used to, yes. I was a little bit of a trouble maker – mainly after high school, but senior year I could find trouble.
We loved the events here; basketball games, where the band would play. We’d do things like that. I used to love doing mock rock.
I remember the spirit here was always so strong. We were a small school, but our school spirit was huge. Bigger than Grand Blanc school even.
I played the trumpet. I tried the clarinet, but no. I met my best friend playing the trumpet. Sarah Holmes. She was crazy. Speaking of school, our twenty-year reunion is coming up in August. This town, I swear, it sucks you in. I’ve tried to get out of this town before, but it just sucks you right back in. I think it’s because it’s such a small-knit community. Everyone has your back; everyone knows everybody – which sometimes can be a bad thing – but it’s a great place to live and raise a family. I’d like to see it grow a little more.

MP: Who would you hang out with in high school?
Jeremy: Sarah Holmes. She’s the one who got me into some trouble. She was the mastermind behind it all. But it was fun trouble – running through the halls being idiots kind of trouble.
I love this school.

MP: You’ve been out of school for twenty years. What’s happened in those years?
Jeremy: Oh my gosh. What hasn’t happened? Life, for one. Setbacks, tons of them. But I tried getting out; I tried. My friend, Sarah, she went to Northwood so I stayed with her quite a bit. I tried to live back downstate with my dad for a little bit, but that just wasn’t for me. Once you get used to living in a small town, and then you go back to the hustle and bustle, you miss it.
I always end right back up in Marion. And I’ve made a life here for myself. I went to Baker College for a little bit – that was rough, I’m not gonna lie. It was super hard. It was in my early twenties and I was working at the Horseshoe bar. I was into the nightlife. I did two years there and was gonna get into architectural construction – but I realized that was way over my head. And then out of the blue, the health care industry just kind of caught my attention and I’ve been doing it ever since.

Jeremy on his Autism Awareness float.

Jeremy on his Autism Awareness float.

MP: What is it about the health care industry that you enjoy?
Jeremy: I’m a sucker for helping others. I get the purest joy out of it, I don’t know what it is. When my son was born I was working at Wal-Mart, and my buddy, Sam McLeod, was working on a farm and he told me I should work on the farm – he said it was hard work but great money. So, I did that for five years. I worked at Veddler Dairy in McBain. I learned quite a bit.
One day I saw there was an ad in the paper for in-home care in McBain. Well, I took that job and I was really nervous because it was in someone’s home. But I loved it. And from there it just escalated. I did that for four years. And now I’m here.
I always say that life is a journey. And I’m willing to take that journey. This is the best job I’ve ever had. The staff is great here. We have a lot of fun. I really like it here.

MP: Who have been your mentors over the years?
Jeremy: My wife, since I’ve known her, has been my biggest mentor. Through raising our child – her sister was autistic, so a lot of things that I don’t understand, she can give me perspective. As a parent, life tends to build up on your shoulders a little bit, and sometimes you need to take a step back and assess the situation a little differently. And my wife is the number one person at keeping me grounded. She’s my rock.
My mom has also been a really good mentor. She’s had jobs that weren’t the highest paying, but she’d always give every job her all. She’d always show up 15 to 20 minutes early. She’d always go in to work if she got called in. She was one of my biggest mentors. Watching her get up every day, with all the aches and pains life throws at you, she’d get up and go to work with a smile on her face. She’s so witty. She makes things fun.

MP:
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Jeremy: I would really like to own a business in Marion. I really want to open up a skating rink in Marion. Something for these kids to do. You know, when you’re in a small town there’s really not much to do, so trouble kind of finds your way a little. And everyone loved driving up to Cadillac to go to Skate-tricity and when it burned down everyone was devastated. In ten years, I would love my kids to have something that they could run, or even just skate around with their friends. That’s my dream. And I don’t give up on my dreams. We’ll see.



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