Frederick J. Gregory, 84, of Dunkirk died on Tues-day, Nov. 19, 2013 at Harrisburg Hospital in Pennsylvania after a long illness.
He was born to the late Harry and Celia Gregory on June 30, 1929. Fred graduated from Dunkirk High School in 1946 where he was voted "most sophisticated" by his classmates. In college, he majored in Mathematics and Science, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Buffalo in 1950.
Fred married the late Mary Joan Clifford in 1950, started his family, and began his career as a first line manager at ALCO in Dunkirk. He then began his education career teaching Physics and Chemistry at Dunkirk High. When opportunity came knocking in the fledgling computer industry, he seized the chance to become a sales representative for the Sperry Rand Corporation, and relocated to Buffalo where he began selling the very first "Univac" computers and data processing equipment in the Western New York territory. He was subsequently promoted to branch manager for Northwestern Pennsylvania, and moved his family to Erie, where he worked and resided for several years before returning to Dunkirk in 1963 to pursue his never-lost passion for education. He became a faculty member at Dunkirk Middle School, where he taught Mathematics until he retired in 1984. During this time, he also began and operated F.J. Gregory Data Processing Service.
Frederick J. Gregory
Fred was a member of several clubs in Dunkirk, including the Elks Club and Dunkirk Lakeside Club. For many years, he was an avid sailor, and belonged to the Dunkirk Yacht Club where he would race his "Lightning" sailboat every Sunday morning in summers in the late 1960s. He would often enlist two of his children to serve as "crew" while he navigated the waters outside of Dun-kirk Harbor and while some say that fishermen on the Dunkirk City Dock could hear him barking commands during a tight race, that was never verified, and remains only a rumor to this day.
Fred not only sailed, but restored several sailboats to beauty and perfection. He had a talent for concentration and detail that enabled him to spend many hours resurrecting a ship wreck until it was "ship-shape." While the sailing was done on the waters of Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake, and the restorations performed on dry land, it came as no surprise to those who knew him that he would also take to the skies, and after several flying lessons, acquired his small plane pilot's license.
His restoration skills were later put to good use on a small cabin on the edge of Chautauqua Lake in Bemus Point. After his project was completed, Fred spent many summers fishing, sailing or just en-joying the sunset from his back porch with friends and family, or in peaceful solitude. He was also a frequent visitor to the See-Zur House and The Italian Fisherman, where he met with friends and partook of the local fare.
Perhaps one of Fred's greatest talents was the art of conversation. He was well-read and well-informed, and was always happy to share his knowledge and viewpoints on a wide variety of subjects. His friends and family can easily vouch for this fact! His love of reading was only eclipsed by his love for PBS! He was a man of science and was a huge fan of Buckminster Fuller.
Unknown to most, Fred was also a poet, and revealed a compassionate and sentimental aspect of his personality in verse. His talent for rhyme and his fastidious attention to meter reflected the scientific aspect of his persona, and combined with his artistic side led to some very inspring and heartfelt passages.
Fred is survived by his sister, Sylvia Dull Robinson of Beachwood, Ohio; his son and daughter-in-law, Mark J. and Claudia Gregory of Alpharetta, GA; his daughter, Margaret Jane Gregory of Dunkirk, NY and daughter and son-in-law, Jenifer and David Beltz of Middleton, WI. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Amanda C. Gregory of Madison, WI, Adrianna C. Gregory of New York, NY, Justin J. Beltz of Middleton, WI and Joseph C. Beltz of Middleton, WI.
Fred touched many lives in his 84 years and is not the kind of guy that can easily be forgotten. He will surely be missed, but remembered, by friends and family alike.
A graveside service will be held in The Garden of Devotion at Willowbrook Park Cemetery on Central Avenue in Dunkirk at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. The service will be immediately followed by a luncheon at Katerina's, which is the upstairs dining room of Demetri's on-the-Lake in Dunkirk. All friends are welcome to join his family at Willowbrook Park for the service and are also invited for lunch at Katerina's to celebrated Fred's full and interesting life. Arrangements are by the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home.