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|Gregory remembered for contributions to community|
According to those who knew him, local event organizer and facilities manager Greg Gregory left a unique mark on the Twin Cities.
Gregory died Tuesday after suffering an apparent heart attack at his home in West Monroe. He was 74.
West Monroe Mayor Dave Norris said Gregory was the consummate event organizer and facilities manager.
"He was invaluable during the time we were building the convention center because he had a lot of ideas that needed to be incorporated into the plans," said Norris. "He gave us a lot of really good advice."
At the time of the construction of the convention center in West Monroe, Gregory was working for Monroe Mayor Jack Howard as director of the Monroe Civic Center. Gregory came to the West Monroe Convention Center when that facility opened in 1978.
Norris said Gregory's knowledge of building management was second only to his skills in organizing special events.
"He really knew that field and knew that job very well," Norris said. "He was also very creative and had a lot of great ideas."
Gregory was hired to manage the city of West Monroe Convention Center by Bert Hatten, Norris's predecessor, who served as mayor from 1966 to 1978. He oversaw much of the construction of the convention center.
Hatten said Gregory was always jovial and proved to be a very capable manager.
"He was one of the best people I had the experience of knowning," Hatten said. "He always enjoyed everything he got involved with and just would get up to his eyeballs in a project."
"He didn't halfway do things," Hatten said.
In addition to serving as facilities manager at both the Monroe and West Monroe civic centers, Gregory volunteered with the Civitans Club.
Also, Gregory served as an event organizer for the Bluegrass Show, the annual fair that comes to Monroe each fall.
Gregory had just returned from one such event in Florida and was preparing for a similar event in Morehouse Parish when he died.
Monroe community affairs director Johnny Riley called Gregory a "great person to work with" because of Gregory's willingness to share opinions.
" Always in our conversations, he was upfront with his opinion about things, whether you agreed with him or not," Riley said. "He would share with you."
Riley recalled his last meeting with Gregory, just several months ago, when the Monroe City Council approved an extension of the city's contract with the Bluegrass Show.
Riley said he and Gregory had dinner following the meeting to discuss ideas about a number of upcoming events at the Monroe Civic Center.
"Even though he was not employed by the city of Monroe, he was always bringing information and ideas to me at the civic center and to the staff," Riley said.
Riley believed that Gregory left a large footprint at the Monroe Civic Center, especially with his work on the Monroe Moccasins and bringing arena football to the facility.
"Overall, he made a very positive impact on the civic center and the staff here," Riley said.
Recounting the moment when Riley informed staff members of Gregory's passing, Riley said he saw how much Gregory meant to the staff at the Monroe Civic Center.
"You could tell he wasn't a person who just passed through," Riley said. "There was a family connection between Greg and the employees while he was here."
Funeral arrangements are incomplete under the direction of Mulhearn's Funeral Home in West Monroe.