John Patterson Gregory

January 3, 1955 - November 25, 2022

01/03/1955 - 11/25/2022

Past Services

Funeral Service
Monday December 05, 2022
11:00 am
Trinity Episcopal Church
1305 Main Street
Scotland Neck, NC 27874

John Patterson Gregory, age 67, of Scotland Neck, passed away on Friday, November 25, 2022.

He was the third child of five and third son of Samuel Thorne “Sam” Gregory and Elizabeth Caldwell Beckwith “Libby” Gregory of Scotland Neck.  As a child John suffered from rheumatic fever and spent most of  his life in and around his hometown.  When organ transplants were in their infancy, John gave part of his pancreas to his sister, Libbette, which precipitated his own battle with diabetes.  His life was marked by a love for all things mechanical and domestic animals.  John particularly loved fast cars, sporting events, motorcycles, and being called “Big Bad John”.  His interests included nature, all things military, and politics.

John graduated from Rocky Mount Academy and after a brief stay at North Carolina State University, he transferred to East Carolina University where he received his Bachelors Degree in Industrial Technology.  After graduation he worked briefly for Weyerhaeuser Wood Products Company in Plymouth.  He then transferred to the state of Washington, working there before volcano Mount Saint Helens blew up.  Upon returning to his hometown, John worked for Shields Fertilizer Company for over 35 years fixing their large equipment.  During his off time he enjoyed motorcycling with his friends and fixing cars.  It is significant that he pulled at least two late model Corvettes from certain death and restored them.  In his older years, John enjoyed boating and fishing with his life long friend, Nelson Helms.

John was preceded in death by his parents, who he helped care for during their ailing years; his sister, Elizabeth Caldwell Gregory “Libbette” Milford and her granddaughter, Lilian Jane Milford; his long-time girlfriend, Dorothy Jane Whitehead Harris; and his step-nephew, Blain Norris.

He is survived by his oldest brother, Dr. Samuel Thorne Gregory II DDS of Dunn and wife Sherry Moore Norris Gregory; her son, Bryan Norris and wife, his son, Samuel Thorne Gregory III and wife April of Creedmoor; brother, Robert Beckwith “Bob” Gregory of Scotland Neck; brother-in-law, Richard Lee Milford IV and wife Melissa of Michigan; their son, Richard Lee Milford V and wife Lara of Texas, their son, Isaac Ellis Milford; sister, Blanche Beckwith Gregory Garrell and husband Michael of Shepherdstown, WV, their children, niece, Heather Garrell Berg and husband Dax of CA, their sons, Ender and Zen Ruckus Berg, nephew, Justin Michael Garrell and Ellie Emami, their son, Jordan Bear Garrell, and nephew, Matthew Garrell of Australia.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 5, 2022 at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Scotland Neck, with The Reverend Brian Benton officiating.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made directly to the Trinity Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 372, Scotland Neck, NC 27874 or online by clicking here.

“All things come of Thee, Oh Lord; and of Thine own have we given Thee.”  Thank you Lord for giving us John.  We were hoping to keep him longer and enjoy with him more mellow years.

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service ~ Letchworth Chapel in Scotland Neck is handling the arrangements for the Gregory family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting

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Danford R Dickens
1 year ago

So sorry to hear of John’s passing, whenever I would see him he always stopped to say hello. I will always remember him cruising around on his Blue Corvette which he cherished dearly. And being a car guy myself I truly respected his knowledge of especially Chevy Vehicles ! He will be missed by many .

Russ Dickens

Raby Allsbrook
1 year ago

So sorry to hear about John. Only knew him from our school years and really enjoyed our conversations. I send my heartfelt sympathy to the family especially Bob my high school friend.

Richard Milford
1 year ago

I am so saddened to learn of John’s passing. As my brother-in-law he was always so supportive of me and Libbett prior to her passing in 2010. Not only did he donate part of his pancreas to Libbett so that she could better manage her diabetes, he also helped fix my car while vacationing with us in the North Carolina mountains one year. He had all of the appropriate tools in his car! Anytime we visited Scotland Neck he was always hospitable. As an employee at GM I was always impressed by his knowledge of cars, particularly Corvettes, as evidenced by the volumes of Car and Driver magazines in his abode. Although Libbett sometimes described him as “gruff” I never found him to be. He was loyal, dedicated, deeply sensitive, humble, and kind.

Cliff Bailey
1 year ago

I’ve talked to John several times since our classmate days in Scotland Neck, usually when our paths crossed at the Food Lion. Whatever his difficulties, it was always an inspiration to hear how he was confronting them and to feel, were I to face similar difficulties, I might yet endure and take them in stride as he was. He was gifted with not only a keen folk wisdom but also wide-ranging aptitudes—mechanics of course, but also, for example, my only classmate (as far as I know) who had read the entire set of Encyclopedia Britannica by the time he started middle school. His unique individuality and affable presence will be greatly missed. 

Beverly Whitehead Whitehurst
1 year ago

John was a true Southern gentleman. I knew him through his long-time friendship with my younger sister, Dorothy Jane. He was a welcome fixture at family gatherings – the one invited to bring the green bean casserole and asked to say grace before the meal. (John had a no-so-subtle way of weaving into those blessings the virtue of Christian forgiving….) With his tall, straight posture and baritone Southern drawl (oh, how I enjoyed listening to him speak), he was a steadying and calming presence. I extend condolences to Bob and all others who knew and loved John.