William 'Bill' Gregory, born on April 2, 1928, to the late Lula Alice Howlett and James Harrison Gregory, passed away in San Tan Valley, Ariz., on Aug. 23, 2013.
He was preceded in death by his dear wife, "Neenie" Dolores O. Gregory, who passed away from cancer in 1993; brother, Glen; and sister, Helen Gregory Smith.
Bill was a retiree of two years in the U.S. Navy
and 18 years in the U.S. Air Force
. After retirement in 1968, he and his family moved to Redlands, Calif., for six years and then on to a long adventure in Fairbanks, starting with most of the family working on the trans-Alaska pipeline. The oldest son, Dale, stayed in California.
In 2007, Bill followed his favorite daughter, Susan, to Arizona where she and her husband had moved. He settled in Tucson for a fun bachelor life for five years before battling some medical issues that brought him close to family.
He was a lifetime supporter of the Scottish Rite, Masons and Shriners International. He was raised and continued his life in the Christian faith. Bill was an avid bowler and golfer and dabbled in playing Keno. He made numerous trips to Tennessee and Virginia to see relatives and his high school sweetheart, Sylvia Owen.
Bill was the most upbeat, happiest man around. His positive outlook and blissful ignorance of his failing health kept him going strong until the end, and family gathered around him often. All who came in contact with Bill loved him, and "adopted" him as part of their family.
His last nine months were spent in a group home with four women. Having roommates brought him joy, even though his independence had been taken away. He grew closer to his grown children and grandchildren and would lose count of his family as each great-grandchild was born.
He is survived by his children and their spouses, Dale E. Gregory and Sheri, of Alta Loma, Calif.; Wayne A. Gregory and Carol, of Fairbanks; Susan R. Burrows and Bill, of San Tan Valley, Ariz.; James H. Gregory, of Fairbanks; his grandchildren, Kimberly House, Michelle Dillon, William Burrows, Wesley Gregory, David Gregory, Stephen Gregory, Tyler Gregory, and Ryan Gregory; his great-grandchildren, Andrew and Adriana House, Michael and Athena Dillon, Evelyn, Eli and LucyAnn Gregory; nieces, nephews and cousins, and many close friends.
Bill will be laid to rest alongside Neenie during a a military honored ceremony at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California.
to share memories and photos.
Donations can be made to American Veterans, 4647 Forbes Blvd. Lanham, Md. 20706 or AMVETS@amvets.org
, or to
, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, Ariz. 85014 or www.hov.org.