February 20, 2004 - The Daily Camera: Colombia RPCV James Gregory dies in Louisville

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Colombia: Peace Corps Colombia : The Peace Corps in Colombia: February 20, 2004 - The Daily Camera: Colombia RPCV James Gregory dies in Louisville

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Colombia RPCV James Gregory dies in Louisville

Colombia RPCV James Gregory dies in Louisville

State's first Peace Corps volunteer dies

Gregory was active in local nature, political issues

By Daniel Zantzinger, Camera Staff Writer
February 19, 2004

Since becoming Colorado's first Peace Corps volunteer in 1961, James Gregory was active in conservation, political and natural resource issues.

As one of the first 25 volunteers from 10 states, he served in the Peace Corps from 1961 to 1964 in villages outside Cumbal, Cali and Bogota in Colombia.

He administered immunizations, built roads and schools, taught about health care and helped with water quality projects, said his son Jeremy Gregory. He also taught proper farming and conservation methods.

The well-rounded, staunch local conservationist and political activist then worked for the Longmont Daily Times-Call as a reporter, photographer and sports editor, for the Longmont Police Department as a police officer, for StorageTek in production, and as a carpenter and handyman for his own company.

Gregory, of Louisville, died of a heart attack Saturday in Louisville. He was 64.

"This caught us off guard," said Jeremy Gregory. But "he didn't have the world's healthiest heart, especially after his triple bypass surgery in 1995."

James Gregory also had three surgeries to remove brain tumors. Complications that followed required four more follow-up surgeries, his son said.

Gregory's health concerns didn't slow him down much, though. Even at 64, he was striving toward becoming a teacher.

He was passionate about the natural heritage of Boulder County, his son said. A recent project involved lobbying the City Council to save a pioneer burial site and the ceremonial site, the so-called "medicine wheel," by the National Institute of Standards and Technology on Broadway.

"He just always had an interest in conservation and nature," his sister, Mary Gregory, said. "We grew up on a farm north of Longmont, and we had parents who had their own ideas about nature. We were farmers, and I think that influenced his ideologies."

"He changed a lot of people's lives, including my own," said Amy Mann, his niece. "I'm in health care in a nursing home, and I probably wouldn't have done that work if it weren't for him. He always encouraged me to be an advocate."

He received awards including the Harvey Bender Award from the city of Longmont and the Outstanding Young Officer Award for capturing armed bandits singled-handedly.

Gregory spearheaded getting high school soccer into the St. Vrain Valley schools, his son said. He brought professional soccer players from England, Scotland and Ireland to be instructors at Essex Soccer Camp in Boulder. The camp later branched out to Longmont and northern Denver communities.

The son of Virgil Gregory and Helen Lathrop Gregory, he was born Sept. 16, 1939, in Longmont. He married Julia Frauenfelder on May 31, 1969, in Longmont.

He attended the University of Colorado, Wichita State University, Rutgers and University of Maryland.

He was a member of Mensa.

Survivors include his wife of Louisville; a son, Jeremy S. Gregory of Longmont; a daughter, Meghan E. Gregory of Louisville; a sister, Mary Gregory of Hygiene; and one granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his parents.

"He will be remembered for his unfailing dedication to his family, his friends and his community," his family said.

A memorial celebrationof his life will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Howe Mortuary, 439 Coffman St., Longmont.

Contributions may be made in his name to Bands For Lands, P.O. Box 4488, Boulder, CO 80306.

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Story Source: The Daily Camera

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Colombia; Obituaries



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