John Lawrence Gregory

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DELAND — John Lawrence Gregory, 93, passed away Nov. 7, 2017, at the Alliance Community. Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, at Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville.
Mr. Gregory was born Dec. 26, 1923, in Jacksonville, the son of Joseph and Marguerite Gregory.
John attended Orlando High School, where he met his sweetheart, Clariece, in the chorus.
He then attended the University of Florida until just after Dec. 7, 1941.
John first enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he was told he wasn’t pilot material.
John and Clariece were married May 15, 1943.
He joined the U.S. Army in October 1943, where he made high scores on his pilot’s exam. During this time, he piloted Martin B-26 Marauders.
After the war, John returned to Florida, where he was the first person Delta hired in Jacksonville. He was one of the first air traffic controllers.
In 1953, he was called up to fly B-29s in Okinawa.
After six months, John returned to the Federal Aviation Administration at the Air Route Traffic Control Center as a controller and then a watch supervisor in Jacksonville. He retired after 33 years.
John was an avid golfer, playing in many tournaments and enjoying golf courses around the world.
He also was on the State Board of Missions of the Florida Baptist State Convention, and was a deacon at First Baptist Church of DeLand for many years.
John was preceded in death by his wife, Clariece; son John Lawrence Gregory II; and two brothers, Chandler Gregory and Robert Gregory. Survivors include his children Bruce Allison Gregory and Kimberly G. Passwater, two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Jones-Gallagher Funeral Home in Keystone Heights was in charge.
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