William Allen "Bill" Gregory, Sr.
William Allen "Bill" Gregory, Sr., of Houston, died on Wednesday, the 22nd of July 2020, at the age of 81.
Born on the 10th of July 1939, at Memorial Hospital in Houston, Bill was a big guy who lived his life with an even bigger heart. His greatest wish was to spend his time on Earth surrounded by family and friends, enjoying his time hunting, fishing, boating and storytelling. By all measures, his life was a raging success. Bill was president and principal owner of mechanical contractor Gregory-Edwards, Inc. from 1971 until his death, having inherited those roles after the sudden passing of his father, who founded the company in 1946. At that time, Bill was offered whatever helping hands he needed by other members of the Houston mechanical contracting community. Bill never forgot these acts of selflessness, and he in turn became known for his expansive generosity.
Bill was always willing to help anyone who came to him with whatever they needed. He had a profound sense of responsibility to be of service to others. Among his many such activities were serving as president of the Houston and Texas chapters of the Mechanical Contractors Association; leading both the Apprenticeship and Health and Welfare committees for Pipefitters Local Union No. 211; founding the Texas Air Balancing Bureau and holding the position of Sergeant-At-Arms for the group; holding associate membership in the American General Contractors Association; and being a proud member of the National Environmental Balancing Bureau and American Subcontractors Association. It is fair to say that there are many people in the mechanical contracting fields that would not have careers were it not for the role Bill Gregory played in their lives. His absence from the Houston community will be felt acutely.
Bill was always willing to accept a challenge. Few things excited him more than solving a difficult puzzle. He would rather fix something than throw it away, even if it meant learning a brand-new skill to do so. He was self-taught in the arts and crafts of tying flies, knurling gun stocks, making his own fishing rods, splicing rope, working on a long string of engines (many of which outlast him) or trying his hand at any other activity that caught his eye. He would put his skills to work beyond his various hobbies, such as when he volunteered as a diver for the Harris County Sheriff's Department as a teenager. People around him learned to sit up and take notice whenever he uttered the sentence, "OK, I've got an idea."
In addition to hunting and fishing, Bill was an accomplished world-traveler, pilot and sailor. His ability to respond to challenges served him well, whether it was being out on the water when the wind disappeared or guiding his single-engine plane to an emergency "one-point" landing. As to the latter, a bent-up propeller has hung proudly on his office wall for years as a reminder that things sometimes go wrong, but responding well and calmly can save the day. Bill Gregory was truly one of a kind.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents Kegham "Greg" Krikorian Gregory and Alice Hovas Gregory; as well as his sisters, Kathryn D. Gregory and Carolyn "Candy" Gregory Souther. He is survived by his wife Gloria J. Hill; children, Theresa D. Gregory and her husband Martin B. Hajovsky, William A. Gregory, Jr. and his wife Kelly Ann, and Douglas A. Gregory and his wife Meryl; stepdaughter, Devon Hill Sinkovic and her husband Thom; grandchildren, Timothy and Nathaniel Hajovsky, Taylor Camacho, William A. Gregory, III, Jeremy, Barrett and Griffin Gregory; step-grandchildren, Maddy and Luke Sinkovic; as well as a whole world of extended family and friends.
The family gives special thanks and appreciation to beloved extended family member Chinh "Cindy" Nguyen and caregiver Ann Charles. Also, the family is grateful for all of Bill's caregivers, nurses and doctors who kept him well and strong over a long and happy life, especially Drs. Camille Goff, Arvind Bhimaraj and Michael Campbell.
A celebration of Bill's life and sharing of remembrances will be held from five o'clock in the afternoon until seven o'clock in the evening on Thursday, the 30th of July, at the Forest Club, 9950 Memorial Drive in Houston. To RSVP please visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family asks that memorial contributions be directed to the William A. Gregory, Sr. Memorial Fund at UTHealth, PO Box 1321, Houston, TX 77251-1321 or at giving.uth.edu/memorial.
Please visit Bill's online memorial tribute where memories and words of comfort and condolence may be shared electronically with his family. Also, please hold Bill in your fond memories.