ELK RAPIDS [mdash]
Gregory Stuart Reisig, AKA Big Guy, died peacefully at home in his beloved big yellow house in Elk Rapids, Sept. 10, 2020, after a brief battle with advanced pancreatic cancer.
An ardent environmentalist, a life-long Chicago Cubs fan, an expert on anything related to the Beatles, a loving husband of fifty years, and a proud father of his two amazing sons.
Greg was born Nov. 21, 1947, in Chicago, to Ann and Shirl Reisig. His parents brought him as a child to northern Michigan where he fell in love with the majestic trees, blue sky, and clean water of the bay.
He grew up in the Chicago area, attended Southern Illinois University, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in English education, and later completing his Master’s degree at Governor’s State University in Illinois. A teacher for twenty years in Illinois, he moved his family to Elk Rapids in 1990 and changed careers when he became the editor of the Lake Country Gazette, a regional newspaper in Antrim County.
His work as a journalist allowed him to meet many inspirational people, particularly the passionate environmentalists already working to defend and protect the region. These people inspired him to find the passion that drove him for the rest of his life. As a board member of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and member and later co-chair of Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council, he was able to work untiringly for the trees, water, and wetlands.
His greatest joys in addition to his environmental work included spending time hiking, driving, and enjoying the beauty of the region with his wife. Those who knew him would also add he loved talking about the Beatles, and enjoyed the trip of his life when he travelled to England to visit the haunts of the Beatles from Liverpool to London with a fellow Beatles aficionado.
Of course, watching his boys play sports–from Little League and AYSO days through high school–made him swell with pride. Then he followed their musical careers with joy as they toured the country fulfilling their dreams.
Greg is survived by his wife, Terri (Hobbs) Reisig; children, Jeremy Hobbs and Sean Hobbs Reisig; he is also survived by his sisters in-law, Patti (Karl) Schoenstein, Annamarie (Rick) Miller, and Donna (Fritz) Jaenike, whom he loved as his own sisters; he is also survived by “The cousins,” with whom he joyfully shared and celebrated northern Michigan; and relatives who remain on his mother and father’s sides in Illinois and Michigan.
He was preceded in death by his beloved parents; and grandparents.
He will miss his friends: those who loved the environment; those who created extraordinary art; those he sailed with; those with whom he explored Big Bend; those he celebrated the end of summer with around a bonfire on Birch Lake; those who could listen to music all night long and answer the question: “What makes a good song?”; those he sat with on the deck of the blue cabin to delight in a sunset; those with whom he walked in the steps of the Beatles in England; those he talked to in the neighborhood about Elk Rapids; those he shared victories with at Wrigley Field; those he remained friends with from his teaching days; those he made friends with last week.
A celebration of life will be held in 2021 when it will be safe to gather, listen to music, and share the energy and love Greg left behind.
Greg asked that anyone wishing to help continue his work of protecting the environment make a donation to the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council, or For Love of Water. He also requested that each of us do our part to protect the region and to practice kindness.
Arrangements were entrusted to the Covell Funeral Home in Elk Rapids.

View Original NoticeREISIG, Gregory Nov 11, 1947 - Sep 10, 2020