Russell Gregory Profile Photo
1938 Russell 2023

Russell Gregory

March 8, 1938 — December 31, 2023

Philadelphia, PA


Russell K Gregory, beloved Uncle and friend, left this world on New Years Eve 2023. He faced his death with practicality and a desire for an artful endgame. We are grateful that his wish to go out with the year was achieved, as it is an apt day of commemoration and remembrance for a man who loved celebrating, toasts, and grand gestures. Auld Lang Syne reminds us that the bonds of love and friendship endure physical loss.

Russell was an iconoclast yet held deep spiritual convictions; a raconteur with a knack for drawing out the essence of his friends of all ages and persuasions. He dressed with flair, delighted in a bit of mischief, and drew people into his orbit through his frank curiosity and rowdy laughter. His anecdotes and tall tales were bewitching and had a way of making listeners wish to be the star in his next story. His openness and comfort with himself and others belied the struggles of his early life: He grew up in a time and place where queerness was kept secret. In his later years, he embraced his gayness openly — and made up for lost time with exuberance, flamboyance and pride.

Russell was born in 1938 in Martin’s Ferry Ohio, the youngest of 4 brothers. He earned a BS in Management Science at Case Western Reserve in 1960 and an MS in Applied Statistics at Villanova in 1967. After working for Westinghouse for 8 years in quality control management, he began pursuing his passion for tennis in 1969 and enjoyed a 43-year career as a tennis pro at several clubs in the Philadelphia area. He is survived by a sister-in-law, nieces and nephews, a gaggle of grand niblings, and friends galore. A celebration of his life will be held on February 17th at the Raquet Club of Philadelphia from 4:00-6:00 pm.

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