Gregory Robert Junell, 44, of San Luis Obispo, passed away Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif. Born in Hanford, Calif., in January 1968, Greg attended local schools and graduated from Hanford Union High School in 1986. Greg showed an early interest in the rapidly emerging computer technology industry and earned his BS degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly. He worked in computer programming and software development in San Luis Obispo and the Bay Area, but soon realized a desire for a more people-oriented career. In order to blend these two talents, he earned his teaching credential and was subsequently hired as a teacher and Director of Information Technology at Mission College Preparatory School in San Luis Obispo. As a teacher, tennis coach and mentor in a variety of school activities, Greg quickly earned the respect of his peers, students and their families. Greg loved music, and he dabbled in piano, string bass and drums. Outdoor activities were also important to him and he frequently organized hikes, camping trips and group bicycle rides. For many years, he participated with a group of friends in preparing for Burning Man. Each September, he would drive his friends to the playa in his old bus. Greg was also qualified to officiate at weddings, and over the years had performed more than 35 wedding ceremonies as a gift to his friends. Above all, Greg felt most fulfilled when surrounded by his family and wide circle of friends, including his fellow faculty, administrators and students at MCP. Greg is survived by his parents, Dr. Robert and Janis Junell; grandfather, James M. Taylor; aunt and uncle Toby and Sharon Junell; aunt, Carol Junell Donnel, all of Hanford; brother-in-law, Philip Nishida of Fresno, Calif.; and many beloved cousins. He was predeceased by his sister, Leanne Junell Nishida; grandparents Toby and Ilene Junell and Lela Taylor; aunt, Kathy Murphree; and uncle, Doug Donnel. A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, at the First Presbyterian Church, corner of Irwin and Dewey Streets in downtown Hanford. A memorial celebration of Greg''s life will be held in San Luis Obispo at a future date. Remembrances in Greg''s name may be sent to Mission College Preparatory High School, 682 Palm St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.
Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on Aug. 24, 2012