Gregg has touched us all in so many ways and his absence will be felt forever. Please feel free to share your condolences and memories of him by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page.
Gregg will live on forever in our hearts through his inspiration and our memories...
Everyone that met Gregg, even briefly, was taken by his good nature, his love of life and his capacity to care for others. I believe that we are all better people for knowing him - and that is his lasting legacy. You will always have a special place in all of our hearts and will always be missed.
Prayers to you Sara and family. SVHS class of '89 will never forget one of our own. God speed Gregg.
The last time I saw Gregg was at our 20th class reunion, I didn't know then that anything was wrong, he didn't show his pain, he was so viberant and full of life. He really surprised me when he got there and was like "Hey Lona Wilson, how are you? Wonderful to see you!" I felt so good that he remembered me and was so kind! I remember him in school and middle school, he exposed my candy stash in my locker! Ha-ha-ha!~
I will miss Gregg but I will never forget him or his smile! He will be watching over all of us now and at least he is at peace and doesn't have to suffer! I miss you Gregg, I'm so sorry for your family's loss and our classes' loss!
I am so sorry to hear of Gregg's passing. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends,
I didn't know Greg well, but I remember him as a sincerely warm-hearted and kind person. I am sorry to hear of his passing. He will be remembered fondly!
Everything from his netcom.com email account to his unusually specific bread hankerings, Greg was so completely Greg. I've never met a man so true to himself.
Wish you were still here beaming about AV equipment, or badmouthing Boston bagels (sorry puffy bread). I really miss you Greg, wherever you are now.
I'll never forget the day I met Gregg and Sara. He was so gracious and patient as Sara and I escaped to talk. I know it couldn't have been fun or easy for him to meet an OM widow, but for over three years now, my world has been made a bit better by knowing Gregg and Sara were out there in the universe. Please know that hearts are heavy in Indiana over the passing of such a fine man. I'm so sorry I won't be able to attend the memorial service, but my thoughts will be with you as you celebrate his life.
My heart is heavy with sorrow for Gregg's family. I still think of him as a quiet, shy boy in my 4th grade class in Roxbury. Quiet and shy, but always with a crooked smile on his face. I'm sorry I will be in Pittsburgh this coming week and not able to attend the service in Brookline, but I will be there in spirit to send my hugs to Dick and Joan.
I was glad to see Gregg at our 20th high school reunion, although I didn't get a chance to talk with him at length. When I think of him, I too remember his crooked smile. I'm glad he lived his life to the fullest, and I will miss knowing that he's out there.
We are so sorry for Gregg's loss. Our sincere condolences to Sara, Gregg's family and friends, and Sara's family and friends.
"It is the life in Gregg's years, not the year's in his life that counts." We didn't know him well but found him to be friendly, kind and lovable and know he will be missed by all. Laurie and Mal Dobrow
I'm absolutely heartbroken by Gregg's passing. I never fail to smile thinking about the times past when we were young kids in middle and high school. So many great memories of being friends, and of hanging out at the beautiful Stracks home in Roxbury. Even though we lost touch through the years I haven't forgotten Gregg in the slightest.
I really regret falling out of touch, but to Dr. & Mrs. Stracks, Mark and David, Sara, and all who were close to Gregg, please know my thoughts are with you. One thing I can say is that I'm awed and very inspired by Gregg's achievements and legacy which I read on this blog, and I will act on that going forward, starting with a contribution to the foundations in his memory.
Wishing you all a lot of love and hope.
Wow, this was very difficult news to hear. The world has lost a truly great man today, but our loss will surely be heaven's gain. I met Gregg through Dave Wechsler in Boston, and we remained friends and dinner partners even after Dave moved to NYC. Gregg epitomized selflessness and true concern for others ahead of himself. He never complained about how he was feeling, and always averted the conversation to me and my family when I asked him. Truly one of the kindest and gentlest souls I have been fortunate enough to have met. He and his family are in my and Mari's prayers, as are his many friends.
I know this may sound crazy, but I will think of Gregg every time I drink a pint of Guinness, and I ask you to do the same. Why? Gregg loved Guinness, and whenever we would go to dinner, he was always so conflicted -- "Should I have just one Guinness?", he would ask me. "Did your doctor say you could drink?", I would reply. "Well he didn't say I couldn't, but I'm just not sure if I should. Maybe one beer would be OK."
Anyway, he almost always ended up going with a water or soda, but assured me I should enjoy a Guinness anyway, in true Gregg selfless fashion. Well the last time I saw Gregg a few months ago, he decided to have that Guinness, and we toasted to life and love and happiness. I am glad he had finally had that Guinness, because he deserved to be happy, for all the happiness he brought to all who knew him. So hears to you, Buddy, may God bless you and your family forever.
For a time in our lives Gregg and I were as close as friends could be. We shared everything, hopes, dreams, disappointments and of course laughed a hell of alot. Even though that was twenty some years ago in high school Gregg never stopped being special to me and I will keep him in my heart always and some day I will tell my children about my friend Gregg. Love you Gregg, peace. John
Our hearts go out to all of you. Gregg was a wonderful man and such a sweet kind soul. He will be greatly missed. We can still clearly see him playing basketball at the park in Brookline.
Grandmommie adored him and I am sure she is with him now.
Two quotes that make us think of Gregg:
A great soul serves everyone all the time.
A great soul never dies.
It brings us together again and again.
- Maya Angelou
There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone the light remains.
In honor of Gregg: Let us be comforted by his light and let us honor him by having him bring us together again and again.
Sending love to everyone during this difficult time.
Sunny and Josh
I feel honored to have known Gregg - his wit, spirit, and mind left a permanent imprint on all he met. I vividly remember an afternoon here in Boulder with Gregg, Dkal and Dana when we spent a good three hrs muddling through "relationship advice"- Gregg had us in hysterics, and it was shortly thereafter he met Sara. I laugh just thinking of him.
Sending peace and strength to all of Gregg's family during this time of mourning.
"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."
- Eskimo Proverb
Lisa (Payson) Cooper
Hi Sara, honey. I just wanted you to know how sad I am for you and that you are in my thoughts constantly. I am so happy for the 8 loving years you had with Gregg. Please I know I love you and you are in my heart. Wish I could be there to sit shiva with you. Much love, Meredith.
I am so sorry to hear this news, but wanted to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are coming to you across the miles. I am sorry for your loss, but most of all I am especially glad that in this world you and Gregg found each other and shared so much love together.
Much love to you, Sara.
Together Gregg and Sara gave courage, strength and hope to all who battled this disease. They were the consummate warriors. I would hope that there is a place in heaven for all these special people. Gregg will be missed by all who were privileged to know him. May his memory forever be a blessing.
With much love, Karyn Lutz
Gregg put up a great fight against a very tough disease. Sara, Gregg and their families have done so much for ocular melanoma research and treatment. I will miss him, he was a patient that became a friend. God Bless..
Gregg was very courageous in his fight against cancer. He never gave in and always was optimistic. His never ending push for knowledge to battle his disease taught everyone around him that the status quo was never good enough. For this lesson I am grateful to have known and helped Gregg in his battle. Gregg's family was always involved and supportive and the love that surrounded him was infectious. I am honored to have been even a small part of his world.
Dearest Sara, family, and loved ones... My heart breaks for you all... I know that Gregg was a very special person, even though I was never privileged to meet him... there truly are no words to adequately express this... may you treasure, and find comfort in your memories...
Sending love and deep condolences to you and yours,
Dear Sara, I am Jen's Scott 's Mom - Jen shared so much about you both I almost felt like I knew you well, such good friends you all have been over these past few years. My heart goes out to you Sara, your love for one another so strong and caring. I wish you peace in this very hard time. Love from Colorado, Judy Scott
Dear Sara, I am so very sorry for your loss of Gregg. Please accept my deepest condolences. My heart goes out to you in understanding. Peace. Amy (Dan Sicko's wife)
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal;
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.
May he rest in peace.
Liz in SC
How fortunate we all were to have Gregg welcome, even register, us at the First OM Patient Conference, Boston, October, 2010. As a true warrior, with no thought for his own pain, he set the stage for an unbelievable, needs-answering meeting that only "two soul mates" could plan. He glowed with pride knowing there would be something special for everyone. Sara and Gregg gave so much when there was no one else out there, especially for my best friend half way around the world. How grateful I was.
My deepest condolence to you Sara and all the family.
Dear Sara,I'm so sorry to hear of Gregg's passing. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Peace be with you.
Nan in NE
Although I never met him, Gregg was and continues to be an inspiration to me. He inspires me to continue to fight this stupid disease. He inspires me to continue to raise awareness and funding to stop this stupid disease. He inspires me to live every moment as if I didn't have this stupid disease.
While I never got the chance to meet Gregg or Sara in person, they were so inspirational to so many people in a time when they were fighting so hard.
Gregg was always so helpful to the rest of our little band of cancer fighters, and he is dearly missed.
Sending my love to Sara and the rest of his family and friends. I am so sorry for his passing.
Dear Sara, We are so sorry to hear of Gregg's passing. What amazing accomplishments and generous giving he packed into 40 short years, and what a wonderful marriage and partnership the two of you shared. You are both an inspiration to us and a reminder to live each day to the fullest with love and selflessness. Truly his light will continue to shine brightly through the legacy he left in this life. Please know that you and your families are in our thoughts and prayers. Wishing you peace and comfort, Sara. With love, Ron and Diane Bakel
Sara and family: I am so very sorry for your loss. Gregg was courageous in his battle against his disease. He was very special and will be sorely missed. My prayers and thoughts are with you- Jeanne Swanson (Dr. Nutting's nurse)
Dear Sara, I am so very sorry to read of Gregg's passing. I have admired both of your strength, determination, and love. My deepest condolences to you in this very sad time, and you will be in my thoughts and prayers for peace and comfort in the days ahead.
I, too, met Gregg through David Wechsler during our time together at Dickinson, and remember fondly his seemingly permanent, engaging smile. He clearly had a tremendous impact on many, and will be greatly missed. May God bless you all.
We first met Ellen and Andy at a New Year's eve chance encounter in Estes Park 10 years ago. Since then we not only developed a close, wonderful relationship with them, but had the opportunity of getting to Gregg individually over dinner twice before he and Sara married and then both of them when they celebrated their marriage in Keystone. We found them to be a loving, dedicated couple with the fortitude, courage and help of Sara's medical expertise to battle a bodily scourge. And we found Gregg to be a fine, decent, promising young man; in short, a "mensch". His physical presence may be gone, but certainly not the wonderful memories he must have inspired in all of the people around him.
Chaia & Howie Greenberg
Sara and family,
We are thinking of you during this difficult time.
Jamie Mierau and family
I am deeply sorry to know that you, your family - and all of us who have dealt with or are dealing with OM - have lost Gregg. I lost my mate Marshall in 2007, slightly less than a year after his diagnoses, so I truly feel your loss.
You and Gregg have been instrumental in organizing and disseminating information about OM, and gathering the medical professionals to make knowledge of this disease more available.
So much progress has been made in diagnosis and treatment from the time Marshall was diagnosed in 2006, and much of that progress has come from your and Gregg's efforts. I hope that knowing this will comfort you.
My heart aches for you.
With much sympathy,
Andy-so sorry for your family's loss..what a wonderful young man and gone too soon...will keep you in my thoughts...take good care...Leigh Sinclair
My condolences for your loss of Gregg. May your happiest memories of him remain with you always.
Really sorry Sara, prayers for you and yours going up en mass.
Dear Joan, Richard and Sara,
Larry and I were very sorry to hear about Gregg. He fought a long, hard battle.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Although we have never met, we have a connection with this terrible disease that took your husband's life too soon ... my husband, also named Greg, has Ocular Melanoma .....my prayers are with you & your family & friends at this sad time .... Diane Listermann
I have been thinking for days about what to write, and I know that no words are adequate. What an amazing person Gregg was. I am a better doctor and a stronger person because of his willingness to share his incredible talents, and I am so thankful for his help. A truly heartbreaking loss. Please know that I am thinking of you and wishing you comfort in this difficult time.
I can't think of 3G and not smile. My sincerest condolences.
May his memory be a blessing.
John and Kristin Kopera
Sara, I don't know you but my heart breaks for you. I lost my husband to the same dreadful disease 5 months ago. You are in my prayers.
To Sara, Andy and Ellen, Becky, and all of Gregg's family,
We had the great priviledge of joining you in Keystone for Gregg and Sara's wedding three and a half years ago. In that perfect mountain setting with the sun breaking through the storm clouds just before the ceremony was to begin, we saw a wonderful young couple so accomplished, so committed to helping others and so fiercely determined to lovingly face the challenges that had already become a part of their lives. In the time since then, you have both shown us all how to live with love, optimism and purpose in the face of great adversity. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you as you face this difficult time. We are forever touched by your courage, grace and strength.
Marty and Howard Corren
I had a great time hanging out with Gregg at GW Tavern after our reunion a few years ago. It occurred to me over the several hours what a perfect couple Sara and Gregg were. I am so happy that you found each other. Although your time together was way too short, I love the fact that Gregg found his One True Love. May Gregg rest in peace.
This year we will walk in Gregg's memory at our annual walkathon for cancer research on March 24th in Florida. He has been an inspiration to all with his strength, courage, and spirit. His smile will always be remembered. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
I was so sorry to hear of Gregg's passing, way too young. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. --Kristi Fitzherbert Beck
I only knew Gregg and Sara through his brave battle with OM. Deepest condolences to the whole family on their loss. He will never know how the work he and Saradid will benefit others, but the world will be better for him having been here. Cherish the memories.
Sara; I am so sorry. Gregg was an incredible man, so genuine and generous. Even in the loudest place, he will always listen to me. We used to talk about psychology (my fellow psychologist), my clients and life in general and he would always had a positive and optimistic thing to say. He will be missed by so many people. I'm sorry I won't be able to attend his Celebration this Sunday but Justin will be there. Now we have a new angel in heaven for sure.
My deepest condolences to the family on their loss.So sorry to hear the sad news & may you rest in peace now Gregg!-Gene Swanson
Reed and I were so sorry to hear about Gregg. We only got to meet him a few times, but he was such a wonderful person.
Sara, I know how hard this is and my heart is with you.
My sincere condolences to Gregg's family and friend's- he was a true hero. My thoughts and prayers go out to you during this difficult time.
I stumbled across this poem not too long ago, and it made me think of you and Gregg and the great love you have. And the great work you both have done.
My love, love, love to you... both.
"I want both of us
To start talking about this great love
As if you, I, and the Sun were all married
And living in a tiny room,
Helping each other to cook,
Do the wash,
Weave and sew,
Care for our beautiful Animals.
We all leave each morning
To labor on the earth's field.
No one does not lift a great pack.
I want both of us to start singing like two
About this extraordinary existence
You, I, and God were all married
And living in
Room." - Hafiz
Because I know both Sara & Gregg only by phone and e-mail, and always around issues of OM, I have shared only the dark side of their lives. How I wish I had been privileged to know them both in more joyous times.
The upside is that I met them at all; the downside is that I will have no joyous memories of Gregg, only the occasional triumphs he had while traveling along the treatment road of this terrible disease.
Gregg was a terrific person, and his loss is a great tragedy. No one in the world could have done as much as Sara in attempting to save his life, and no one could have fought harder than Gregg. Typical of the altruism of both Gregg & Sara, they also directed their focus to the larger OM community.
Wishing Sara, her family, and Gregg's family happy memories,
Thinking of you Sara and will always be around to support you. Natasha
I was so sorry to hear this sad news. Although I didn't know Gregg well, attending a high school as small as Shepaug made it a close-knit community. My thoughts and prayers are with Gregg's family and friends during this very difficult time.
Michelle Wheaton Stafford
Like a number of people who have already posted here, I grew up with Gregg in Roxbury. I have fond memories of him from our time at Shepaug and when we reconnected at our 20th reunion was thrilled to find out about what an amazing life he had built. I was even more impressed (but not surprised) to read here about his many professional accomplishments. His life was too short, but it's clear that he filled it with love and dedication towards others, sharing his gifts with those who needed them most. My sincerest condolences for your loss.
This is a tremendous loss; incredibly sad. My deepest condolences to Gregg's family and friends.
My deepest condolences go out to Sara and Gregg’s family and friends for this tremendous and immeasurable loss. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to work with Gregg and Sara and to get to know them. It is rare to be touched by two people in love whose grace, courage and kindess in the face of adveristy continue to inspire me and my family. Our thoughts are with all of you. –Jo and family
What a loss. ALthough I am completely unrelated to and never knew of Gregg, my own father passed away at the age of 45 a few weeks ago. Tragedy strikes too often. May you all find strength and comfort in your community and each other.
I didn't know Gregg but his father, Dr. Richard Stracks, is my Orthodontist. I am saddened to hear of Gregg's passing and my condolences go out to the entire family. After watching the video, it is clear to me that though the years were limited in Gregg's life, they were full of love and laughter. May those memories provide you with comfort and peace during such a difficult time.
Sincerely, Jeanne Gebert
Dear Sara and family,
I was deeply saddened to hear of Gregg's passing.
May you find comfort and peace in remembering the special love you shared. This world will be a better place because of his life.
Sincerely, Janice Allen
My daughter is an orthodontial patient of Dr. Stracks father. We just found out the sad news and put you on the prayer list at our church. Our sympathies to your family. Here is an excerpt from the prayer list:
United Methodist Church of Danbury
Prayers from Sunday – January 29, 2012
We pray for those we know and love:
Malva Martin’s family – Margie Underhill’s neighbor who passed away
Louise Scalzo, a guest at Dorothy Day is in Danbury Hospital on a respirator
Bruce Kohl who had a knee replaced
Family of Will McWilliams whose father Bill passed away
Family of Dr. Stracks on the passing of a son
Shirley Fogle – travel mercies
AS friend's of Gregg's parents we shared his courageous and optimistic journey over the past years.To lose a wonderful young man to this is disease is unthinkable-but to see the joy in all the years he lived is comforting.
We know how he was supported and loved.
Ilsa and Mark Lowe
I can't imagine how hard this must be for you. My deepest condolences go out to you and Gregg's family in this difficult time. Please know I am thinking of you and keeping you and Gregg's family in my thoughts and prayers. May you find comfort and peace in your memories of Gregg and the love you shared together.
Amy (Scott) Cook
The pictures tell a beautiful story of a life well lived and of a person well loved. My sincere condolences to all whose lives were made richer by counting Gregg among your friends.
Shepaug Class of '89
I'll never forget Gregg's easy smile and how little time it took him to know who I was and how I could be better - he was truly visionary in this regard, while also being the most laid-back, fun guy in the room to be around. I respected him tremendously and found in him a role model. I will miss his insight, guidance, and friendship. - Bob Burke
I have been looking at the beautiful montage of photo's for the past few weeks. I kept thinking I will wait to write when I can think of what to say. I think that day might never come. What an amazingly beautiful couple you and Gregg are- truly breathtaking. It is like you can see the spirit shine in both of you when you are together in those photos. What an inspiration! I have always known you to be an exceptional person, and I guess Gregg brought that out even more. How lucky you both were to find each other and live in the moment like it looks like you did from the slideshow. My deepest, most sincere sympathies Sara. Wish there were a way to lighten your sorrows. With Respect, Admiration, and Sympathies, Dawn Kallio
Gregg was the eternal optimist with a heart as big as his ideas about how to change the world. He was a man of both ideals AND actions. I so wish that he was still with us in the flesh to keep these inspirations alive, but he has left us all with a warm glow that can never be extinguished. THANKS Gregg, for sharing all that you did during your time with us!
Gregg was instrumental in my early days at Vonage. I recall one day he opened our session saying, "I need to make you aware of a blind spot..." And he was right! I didn't see it coming. He was tremendously insightful and the world has lost someone very special. See you in heaven someday my friend.
I've just now heard about Gregg's death. He was in two classes that I taught in the DU PsyD program. What a great, open, joyous sense of humor he had. I loved giving him a hard time because he could take a ribbing, and he knew it came from a real appreciation of him. To Sara and the rest of Gregg's family, I wish you peace in a world that knows and embraces your grief.
I was shocked and saddened to recently learn of Gregg's passing. We were classmates at DU, and every memory I have of him involves him smiling and laughing. I am sending my love and support to his family and friends; I will remember him very fondly. Jennifer Moran
I just learned of Gregg's passing from the Dickinson Magazine. I met Gregg freshman year at Dickinson, and I've always felt fortunate that our paths crossed. He had a certain friendly naivete that was disarming and very cute. I followed his OM blog for quite a while, but one day I couldn't get on the blog anymore without a password I didn't know. I don't know a whole lot, but I know that this world was a better place with him in it. My condolences on your loss of a wonderful person. Amy McKean
When I first learned of Gregg's illness, I knew he would be strong....especially with so much love from both Sara and his family. Although we have never met, Sara, my husband Andy and I followed your blog entries detailing your journey. We knew Gregg at Dickinson and had many laughs throughout 4 years. Gregg and I spent summer days in Connecticut filming silly Saturday Night Live skits! Gregg had a special way with any new person he met and always asked great questions in his zest for learning and life. The news of Gregg's passing was extremely sad and our hearts and prayers will always go out to both Sara and the extended families.
I did not know Greg, but I do know that this courageous man was LOVED more than words can say. His spirit is powering a force through his loved ones to push forward for a cure to this rare and sometimes fatal disease. I thank Gregs spirit and Sara for their tireless work for this cause. For I myself was diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma also. I continue to FIGHT!!!! Lisa Bowman
I knew Gregg in Denver--we both worked as Assessment and Referral Specialists in St. Joseph's Hospital and Lutheran Medical Center emergency rooms. This was in 1999 and 2000. He was af funny, warm, generous person. I've always wondered how he was doing and today, googled his name and learned he passed. My thoughts go out to his family and wife. Ellen Hurd
I knew Gregg in the early 2000's in Denver, Colorado. Though we lost touch and I haven't spoken to him since that time, I was deeply saddened to hear about his passing. Gregg was one of, if not the, funniest people I have met in my life. At the same time, he was deeply caring of his friends. He was both a mentor and therapist to me at a difficult time in my life; a very giving man who never asked for anything in return. I will always remember his kindness and concern for others. I am happy to see that he found a soul mate in Sara and that he experienced so much joy in his life. What a great human being.
Missing Gregg today, and looking forward to being with you through the amazing and challenging things that 2014 will bring for you, Sara. With our love, Ami and Parin
In true tradition, both you are Gregg have, and will continue to, make this world a better place. Gregg lives on in your spirit and wonderful amazing work. Thank you for sharing. You are both truly an inspiration.
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