September 13, 2023
Gean B. Gregory, 79, of Alhambra, Ill., formerly of Staunton, died Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, at Troy. He was born on Monday, May 29, 1944, in Mangum, Okla., the son of Connie and Helen Gregory. On June 20, 1969, he married Eleanor L. Gregory nee Christin, who survives.
Gean was drafted by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. During his military time he served as a medic in Auxburg and Berlin, Germany, where part of his role was aiding in relief efforts following a devastating earthquake.
Post-war he returned to spend time with his sister Mary Ann and family in Greenville who talked him into going to college at Greenville College. While taking cultural anthropology class, he asked classmate Eleanor Christin if he could copy her notes, and, well, the rest is history. They married June 21, 1969, and established residence in Staunton, where Eleanor began her teaching career and Gean opened Alhambra Auto Body.
Over the years Gean’s work evolved from basic automotive repairs to custom truck restoration and paint schemes to what he is now known for throughout the country and even worldwide-his Mopar restoration and parts (Alhambra Custom Service). Gean restored an unknown number of cars comprised primarily of Daytonas, Superbirds, Cudas, and Challengers. During the restoration process, finding parts was always challenging so Gean rose to the occasion and reproduced those hard-to-find parts including front nose cones for Daytonas and Superbirds, shaker hoods, rubber bumpers, and rear-window louvers for Cudas and Challengers along with many other parts and pieces. Today his name is still referred to as a quality standard for such parts. In fact just this summer at a car show, somebody was selling one of his nose cones with “This is a Gean Gregory nose for a 69 Dodge Daytona” with a very high asking price representative of his quality of work.
Survivors include his wife, Eleanor Gregory of Alhambra; sons, David (Sara) Gregory of Rydal, Ga., Brian (Rhonda) Gregory of Gallatin, Tenn., Keith (Kassandra) Gregory of Carbondale, Kevin (Sylvania) Gregory of Commerce City, Colo.; daughters, Sarah (Andrew) Deatherage Steele of Marine, Cindy (Aaron) Moore of Cookeville, Tenn., Saori (Jeremy) Paul of Edwardsville; grandchildren, Megan Gregory, Ethan Gregory, Matthew Gregory, Brennen Gregory, Hanah Dillon, Maddox Gregory, Marshall Gregory, Elizabeth Gregory, Kaylee Deatherage, Camden Deatherage, Mia Steele, Clara Gregory, Henry Moore, Tyler Paul and Erica Paul.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, MaryAnn (J.C.) Roe, Doris Gregory; brothers, Kenneth Gregory, Jerry Gregory; and son-in-law, Kyle W. Deatherage.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15, at Dauderman Mortuary in Alhambra and from 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Donnellson Presbyterian Church in Donnellson. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the church. Interment will be at Donnellson Cemetery in Donnellson.
Memorial contributions may be made to Donnellson Presbyterian Church. Arrangements are being handled by Dauderman Mortuary in Alhambra.