Gene Odell Gregory
July 2, 1919 to June 13, 2008
"May the road rise up to meet you ..."
Gene Odell Gregory, 88, died on June 13, 2008, in St. Paul, Minn. He died peacefully
at home surrounded by the love of his family.
Gene was loved by all who knew him for his charm and great sense of humor. He had a
warm-hearted smile that could light up any room. He dearly loved his family, rolling
hills, a good fishing hole, music and dancing, especially the 'jitterbug.'
He was born on July 2, 1919, in Bluford, to Oscar Andrew and Ruby Leota (Sledge) Gregory.
His family moved to the St. Louis area where his father worked as postmaster in Afton.
During World War II, Gene served his country proudly as a member of the armed forces.
He was awarded six Bronze Stars for battles fought in North Africa and Italy.
Gene worked for many years as a professional driver. He retired in 1982 from the Roadway
Trucking Company where he earned the "Million Mile Driver" designation and had a perfect
safety record. He enjoyed his 26 year retirement living in Lebanon, Mo.
Gene's final wish was to be buried in Mt. Vernon, the area he lovingly referred to as
"the country" and the place where his family's roots run deep. He is descended from
Benjamin Gregory, who came to Illinois from Kentucky in 1827, through his son Dr.
Lemuel Barker Gregory, a pioneer physician in Jefferson County, and his wife Elisa
Cochran, and through their daughter Saphronia Ann Gregory and her husband Joseph
Jefferson Sledge, Gene's maternal grandparents.
He is survived by his daughter, Patricia Diaz deLeon and her husband Jesus of St. Paul, Minn.;
his son, Michael Gregory and his wife Francis of Bellingham, Wash.; his dear sister, Irene
Paxson of St. Joseph, Mich.; his brother, Oscar and his wife Marge of Cottonwood Ariz.;
grandchildren, Mario, Sonia, Matthew and Daniel; and a good number of nieces and nephews
Services will be held under the direction of the Hughey Funeral Home in Mt.Vernon.
The family will greet friends from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, at the funeral home.
Graveside memorial services will be held at Bethel Memorial Cemetery in Mt. Vernon
at 11 a.m. on Saturday with the Rev. Mike Steed officiating. Members of ML Vernon
American Legion Post 141 will conduct full military honors at the cemetery.
Memorials are preferred go to the Alzheimer's Association.
Condolences may be sent to Hughey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 721, 1314 Main Street,
Mt.Vernon, IL 62864, or www.hugheyfuneralhome1969.com.
Source: Mount Vernon Register News
Date: June 18, 2008
Submitted by: Cindy Ford