Gregory Wayne Gilroy, 72, Ottawa, Kansas, passed away Oct. 31, 2019, at his home.
A Celebration of Greg’s life will be 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 at the Kansas National Guard Armory, 208 W. 17th St., Ottawa. The family will greet friends from 6–8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, at Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, Ottawa. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Cub Scout Troop #3118 or Kansas National Guard Museum c/o Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, P.O. Box 14, Ottawa, KS 66067. Condolences may be sent to the family through www.lamb-roberts.com.
He was born July 25, 1947 in Ottawa, Kansas, the son of Henry “Hank” Gilroy and Virginia B. (Heckman) Gilroy. Greg was a lifelong Ottawa resident graduating from Ottawa High School with the class of 1965. He attended Emporia State University for one year. Greg was a lifetime member of the First Baptist Church, Ottawa.
In 1966, Greg joined the Kansas Army National Guard. From 1969 to 2002, Greg was the full-time Operations Sergeant of the 1st Battalion of the 127th Field Artillery Unit of the Kansas National Guard retiring as a Master Sergeant. During this time this unit became the first unit in the country to use the Paladin Howitzer. Greg’s training plan became the standard to field that system.
Greg was very active and volunteered for many local and national organizations such as being a troop leader for the Boys Scouts of America, locally in Troop 127 and Cub Scout Troop 3118. He was heavily involved with The Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States “EANGUS”, where he was the Executive Director and the Past President of Kansas. On the national level of EANGUS, he was Chairman of the Finance Committee and the By-Laws Committee as well as an Area Four Director. He served as the Treasurer of the Franklin County Historical Society and was a member of the State Historical Society. He was active as a member of the Ottawa and Lawrence Model Railroad Clubs, and was heavily involved in running the train room at the Old Depot Museum in Ottawa. He also volunteered for the Franklin County Fair Board as well as serving as the Secretary for the Kansas National Guard Museum.
One of his favorite past times was traveling in his R.V., especially with his grandkids. He was blessed to see most of the United States. He was an avid Chiefs and KU fan, always cheering them on to victory. He loved Western movies and you could find him watching them every day of the week at any hour of the day. Greg also enjoyed playing golf with his golf buddies and if you couldn’t reach him, it was usually because he was on the course playing a round. He was an amazing dad, husband, grandpa, great grandpa, and friend. He was always there no matter what, attending games, birthday parties, dance recitals, programs, graduations, reunions, and anywhere he could be with his friends and family.
Greg married Shirley Sullivan, and through this marriage he gained three wonderful stepchildren, Phillip Sullivan (Lek), of Charlotte, North Carolina; Teresa Sullivan (Gyron), of Olathe, Kansas; and Timothy Sullivan, Ottawa, Kansas. They also were blessed with a daughter, Rebecca “Becky” Ann Twedt (Dan), of West Des Moines, Iowa.
Greg and Shirley later divorced.
On Dec. 5, 1985, he was united in marriage to Bonnie Kiefer. From this marriage he gained three stepchildren, Jeri “Sis”, Michael J. and William “Scott” Kiefer. He also has a sister, Paula Roper (Ken), of Emporia, Kansas; niece, Keyna Bugner, of Ellensburg, Washington; 18 grandchildren; Owen and Anna Twedt, Michelle, Kyle, Mandy, Scotty, Hunter, Randi, Jeremy, Tyler, Audrey, Brittney, Zachary, Xavier, Kelsey, Shawn, Devin, and Jordan as well as twenty-six great grandchildren.
Greg is preceded in death by his father, Henry “Hank” Gilroy and a stepson, Mike Kiefer.