Last year, Greg traveled to Gitwe, Rwanda to work with Medical Missions for Children. Greg’s friend Shannon, whom he met in Rwanda last year, is there now and sent this note:
. . . Just wanted to send you a message from Rwanda. Today is the last day of surgery in here. Greg has been here in spirit with us the whole time. I know you will be receiving this picture soon. It is a picture of the plaque that now hangs in the operating room here in honor of Greg. MMFC has put it on our facebook page. . . .
Greg is very missed here in Gitwe. Many have asked for him here. Just planted a tree in his memory in front of the hospital. The workers here said they will take good care of it. Will tell you more when get home. . . .
In my thoughts,
And here is the note from MMFC’s Facebook Page:
We love and miss you, our dear friend and colleague, Greg. This mission was for you. The ceremony, the river rock, the prayers, the tree, the plaque and a piece of every one of our hearts will remain here in Gitwe – where a part of your spirit will sleep peacefully – forever.
And a letter to the family and friends of Greg from Denny at the MMFC.
Dear Judith, Rhoda, Howard, one and all:
This past Friday, March 19, our team had a memorial service for Greg it Gitwe, Rwanda.
The service was outdoors, in front of the Gitwe Hospital, where we planted a tree in Greg’s memory.
The tree is the only tree in this yard, and we will watch it grow and grow it all the years to come.
The minister present even introduced us all to the gentleman who will care for the tree.
It was a beautiful and very moving time for all of us…all the team was in Rwanda after dedicating our mission to Greg.
Ready for this…traffic on the fronting road came to a full stop.
We completed 77 operations on the poorest and most desperate of children and adults.
It seemed as if he was with us the entire time.
When the ceremony was completed, we all saw the full moon break through…although still daylight, he showed up to shine on Greg’s tree.
Next year of course we will look for the balloons, and now we have a recipe for the date( and a beverage of choice!).
With love, admiration and peace, to one and all.
The first photo is of the two of us sometime Junior Year in high school, the second is senior year after the Music Man, which is why we’re both looking pretty silly.
I had the pleasure of knowing Greg at Stanford from the time he was an intern until he graduated most recently. He shared his humor, his intellect and his friendship with me. I am just one of the many people he meant so much to. I am so greatly sorry for your loss and hope that you find comfort in the living memorial that you are building for Greg. He is very sorely missed.
My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.
I am a friend of Greg’s from Parker and remain so saddened by his passing each and every day. I was lucky enough to see him a few times during his time at Northwestern and can only wish that we could have had more time to enjoy his incredible humor and his wonderful stories of his life experiences. We sat together at Dana and Aaron Rice’s wedding and he enchanted me all night with his various adventures at Stanford, in Rwanda and at various salsa outings. He also kept checking his phone to see if his sister Judith was in labor, as he could not wait to be an uncle again. It was absolutely clear that Greg loved his family above and beyond comprehension. Continue reading
I am a friend of Greg’s from his early days in San Francisco, and I was deeply saddened to hear about his passing. Greg and I met through Noah Feinstein in 2000, and we shared our Jewish heritage as well as a love of music. We jammed together on a few occasions. We also went hiking together in parks around the Bay Area. In later years I didn’t see him as often as I wished, mostly at events that Noah hosted, but I always enjoyed spending time with him and watching how he brightened every room he entered.
I would like to contribute these photos to Greg’s online memorial.
The words that follow will undoubtedly fall short of the deep sincerity that I am attempting to convey. I met Greg at Stanford, he as a surgery resident and myself as a secretary in the ER. We quickly became friends. I knew early on that this was a unique human being that would affect me in unimaginable ways and surpass the meaning of the word ‘friend’. I was right. Here are just 2 of my precious memories of Greg… Continue reading
I am one of Greg’s Harvard College classmates. I only knew him casually in college. He was charming and very witty, and I always enjoyed chatting with him, though I never had the chance to get to know him that well.
At our Ten Year Reunion in June of 2009 I was lucky enough to reconnect with him a bit. It was great to see him, and he seemed to be thriving. We talked about many things, but he was so modest he never mentioned to me that he was a resident in surgery at Stanford, which is right near where my parents live.
Fast forward to December of 2009, and there my father and I were in Stanford Hospital, waiting outside the operating room while my mother was having brain surgery, and Greg just happened to walk by. It was one of the most difficult moments of our lives. Continue reading