Harrison Gregg

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Service Information
Douglass Funeral Home
87 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA

AMHERST – Harrison Lewis Gregg, 76, passed away on April 2, 2018, at Baystate Hospital after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's disease.

He faced his illness with the humor, dignity and grace with which he lived his life.

He leaves his wife Nancy Nell (Lynch) Gregg, 76, daughter Leah Charity Gregg, 43, son Evan Gregg, 38, son-in-law Scott Jackson, grandson Jacob, 9, dog Daisy, 10, and cat Hazel, 7, as well as other family and life long friends spread throughout the country.

Harrison was born May 16th, 1941 in St Paul, Minnesota to Lewis H. and Verna Sylvia (Stolpe) Gregg. At a young age his family moved to Russell, Minnesota and later to Wichita, Kansas where he graduated from Southeast High School in 1958.  He moved to Western Massachusetts in 1971 with his wife Nancy, and remained there until his passing.

Harrison was known for his keen intellect and sharp wit. He graduated from Harvard University in 1963 and attained a Masters Degree in Literature from UMass, Amherst in 1978. He was a renowned authority on the poetry of Emily Dickinson, participating in and leading several discussion groups on the topic.  For many years he led the Emily Dickinson Walk on the anniversary of her death and became a guide at the Emily Dickinson Museum upon retiring from his administrative position at Amherst College in 2012.  He was also an avid composer of limericks and light verse and lover of wordplay of all kinds.

Harrison believed in public service and civic engagement and followed a strong moral compass.  While attending Harvard he took a year off to work in the head office of the Peace Corps in Washington DC shortly after its inception.  There he met his wife of 47 years, Nancy.  Together they became active in the Civil Rights movement, participating in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  After serving as a 1st Lieutenant in the Vietnam War he joined Nancy in Washington DC where they participated in anti-war demonstrations. Harrison's dedication to public service is most exemplified by his 19 years as the Town Moderator of Amherst and his work with South Congregational Church.

Harrison had many other interests including music, art, film, history, and baseball. With his family he explored much of the United States through long car trips to national parks and historic homes like The Carter Fold in Hiltons, Virginia. For many years he played clarinet in the Amherst Town Band and enjoyed singing in South Congregational Church choir and the Pioneer Valley Symphony chorus.

Memorial gifts in lieu of flowers can be sent to the John P Musante Health Center in Amherst by emailing the Development Director at [email protected] or calling 413-238-4111.  

Memorial services will be held at South Congregational Church 1066 S East St Amherst, MA.  Calling hours will be Friday April 20, 2018, from 5-7 p.m. and a memorial service will take place on Saturday April 21, at 11 a.m.

Memorial register at www.douglassfuneral.com

To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to legacy.com/obituaries/gazettenet.
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Apr. 13, 2018
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