PUBLISHED: 1/23/2013 10:57 PM |  Print |   E-mail | Viewed: times

Walter S. Gregory




Walter S. Gregory

AIKEN, S.C. – Walter S. Gregory fell asleep in the Lord on January 22nd, 2013, at age 98, at Hitchcock House in Aiken. Vladimir, as he was originally christened in 1914, was born in Moscow, Russia, into a distinguished Tsarist military family, the elder son of Sergei D. Grigorieff and Varvara V. Semenkovich. The chaos and tumult of the Russian Civil War left him and his younger brother George orphaned in Harbin, Manchuria. Through the grace of God, they were discovered there by a junior officer Georg von Dattan, who had served under their father and felt duty-bound to adopt and raise them as his own sons.

Walter grew up in Manchuria and then moved to China to begin a life-long career in various international business companies. He was working in Tientsin when he met his beloved Tatiana Mikhailovna, they married and moved to Shanghai, where they endured the Japanese occupation. The postwar years were not much quieter as they found themselves in the midst of the Chinese Revolution. They were forced to flee China in late 1948 with their two small sons, just ahead of the Communist takeover. Next was a year spent in Taiwan, awaiting permission to enter US-Occupied Japan. Then the family lived in Tokyo for six years, awaiting their quota allocation to enter the USA.

Walter, Tatiana, and their now three sons finally arrived in San Francisco in 1955, with the proverbial $25 in the pocket. With his profound cultural understanding of Asia, unflagging entrepreneurial spirit, and the highest standards of personal integrity, Walter built up a series of Far Eastern import-export businesses. Later his interests expanded into the Middle East, until he retired to Aiken in his still-energetic middle seventies, having sold his final business to a Fortune 500 company. He stopped counting the times he had been around the world at trip number 25. Among the family’s proudest moments was becoming US citizens in 1961, at which time the family name was Americanized from Grigorieff to Gregory.

Walter is survived by his beloved wife Tatiana Gregory of Aiken; by sons Michael (Lois) Gregory of Aiken, Serge (Rachel) Gregory of Seattle, and Paul Gregory of Jefferson, Maine; by grandchildren Alex Gregory, Benjamin Gregory, and Hana Gregory; and by great-grandson Michael Mannik. He was predeceased by his brother George (Nina) Gregory of Aiken and his granddaughter Tania Gregory of Berkeley, CA.

There will be a Trisagion vigil service on Friday, January 25th at 6:00 PM at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Mission, 803 Shartom Drive, Augusta, GA 30907. The family will receive friends at that location from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. The Orthodox Christian funeral service will be at the same location on Saturday, January 26th at 10:00 AM, with interment to follow at Saints Mary & Martha Orthodox Monastery, 65 Spinner Lane, Wagener, SC 29164. The Rev. Timothy Yates of Holy Apostles Orthodox Church, West Columbia, SC will officiate.

Throughout his long life, Walter derived much strength and hope from his Russian Orthodox Christian faith. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Holy Resurrection Orthodox Mission at the above address. May his memory be eternal!

SHELLHOUSE - RIVERS FUNERAL HOME, 715 EAST PINE LOG RD., AIKEN, SC

Please visit the online guestbook at www.shellhouseriversfuneral

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