Gregory Alon Preston, age 77, of Grand Haven (formerly of Niles, Michigan) passed away at home Saturday, April 6, 2019.
Greg was born January 6, 1942, in Royal Oak, Michigan, to the late Gilbert and Eleanor (Post) Preston. He attended Royal Oak High School and then served our country in the United States Army. Greg then attended Western Michigan University and graduated with a master’s degree in arts. While at Western Michigan, he was a standout shortstop on the baseball team and served as a mentor to many fellow students while employed as a teacher at the university.
On June 19, 1965, he married Claudia Knoll in Grand Haven. She preceded him in death on September 13, 2013. Early on in life, they lived in Niles where Greg was very active in the community and was instrumental in founding the children’s soccer programs, which began with a handful of kids and has now grown to 2,500 participants. He was a member of the Optimist Club and former member of the First Presbyterian Church of Niles. He was employed by Equitable Life Insurance Co. of Niles, and eventually became the owner and operator.
In 1987, they moved to Grand Haven and Greg became a Realtor at Clyde Hendrick Prudential Real Estate until his retirement a few years ago. He was very active in sports and enjoyed playing baseball, tennis, golf and racquetball. Greg was a member of the United Methodist Church of the Dunes in Grand Haven and was active in the choir. He married Helen Beers on November 15, 2014, at the church. Greg enjoyed spending time talking to people and being with family, and was always a coach and advocate for youth sports.
Greg is survived by his children, Elizabeth (Chad Lee) Preston-Huff and Mike Preston; his wife, Helen, and her daughter, Lori (Steve) Gillespie; son-in-law, John Parlow; and three grandchildren: Abigail Biniecki, Tommy Duncan and Brody Lynn. He is also survived by his brothers, Brian (Laury) Preston and Phillip (Bonnie) Preston; brother-in-law, Thom (Sandy) Knoll; sister-in-law, Sally Knoll; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Claudia; daughter-in-law, Dawn Preston; and step-daughter, Sarah Parlow.
The Celebration of Life for Greg will be at 11 a.m. Friday, April 12, 2019, at United Methodist Church of the Dunes, with Pastor Lou Grettenberger officiating. Full Military Rites will be performed by the American Legion Charles A. Conklin Post 28. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at Klaassen Family Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to United Methodist Church of the Dunes or Lake Louise UMC Camp Scholarship Fund. Please visit www.klaassenfuneralhome.com to sign Greg’s online guestbook.
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