Harold William Gregory, 1925-2017

Harold William Gregory, 92, went to be with the Lord December 9, 2017 at his home at Legacy Retirement Residence, in Mesa, Arizona.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years, Mary Jo Gregory; his daughter, Roberta (John) Giarrizzo; 4 grandchildren and their spouses: Gregory (Sharee) Stuart, Malaika Stuart, David (Paige) Giarrizzo, Paul (Kari) Giarrizzo; 8 great-grandchildren; plus many nieces and nephews. He was preceded into Glory by his oldest daughter Catherine (Ray) Jabara and all 5 of his siblings.

Born to Arthur & Minnie Gregory on June 17, 1925, 15 minutes before his twin brother Carroll in Mount Vernon, IL, Harold was raised in a loving home with his 5 other siblings. In 1943, at 18 years old, he and Carroll enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and completed basic training at Camp Pendleton, CA. Harold served his country in the South Pacific during WWII and earned a Purple Heart. He was a life-long Marine, regularly attending Marine Corps reunions and sharing with others about his time in the service.

At 24, Harold met Mary Jo Ruffin, then 20, at a county fair in Mt. Vernon, in September 1949. Shortly after meeting Mary Jo, Harold attended a revival meeting with her, and it was there that he saw his need for the forgiveness of his sins and came to know Jesus Christ as his Savior. That “sealed the deal” for Mary Jo, and she and Harold married on July 29, 1950. The Lord blessed them with their first child, Mary Catherine, in 1952. Two years later they moved to Arizona, and in 1957, they were blessed with their second child, Roberta Lee.

He spent his early career working at companies like Motorola and McDonald Aircraft. He eventually started his own business (owner/operator) through which he made many friends throughout the Phoenix area. He loved his work and didn’t stop until he was almost 90 years old.

For years Harold served as a deacon at the Church on Mill (SBC) in Tempe. He loved spending time with his family, travelling, telling stories, singing old country songs, and regularly watching the Grand Ole Opry.

Harold leaves behind a legacy of Christ-like love, a warm smile, a sense of humor, and faithful service to his family and his country. He will be dearly missed. A memorial service will be held at Grace Covenant Church, 1255 N. Greenfield Rd, Gilbert, AZ, on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Harold’s name to Gideons International.

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