John Drexell Gregory, 69, worked with the Secret Service for 24 years

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John Drexell Gregory left us suddenly and all too soon on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017.

His was a life of love and achievement, beginning in Jersey City on Aug. 4, 1947. He graduated Ridgefield Park, N.J., before matriculating to Fairleigh Dickinson University. After completing his undergraduate degree, he studied for and received his master’s degree from John Jay College.

With an ever-present sense of duty, John was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army before achieving the rank of first lieutenant. After the U.S. Army, John worked for NYPD’s Department of Investigation before serving his country yet again in the Secret Service for 24 years in several capacities, including on the Joint Terrorist Task Force, Counterfeit Squad, as a special agent for White House Access and as an inspector. John was part of the rescue efforts after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

After serving as the V.P. of Security for Master Card International, John was again called into service to head up the Federal Air Marshals for Newark International Airport. John was also a servant to the communities he lived in as an officer for the Special Police Force in Haworth, N.J., and as a volunteer firefighter for the St. James Fire Department.

He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara (Hills) Gregory; daughters, Kathy Schwartz, and her husband, Jim Schwartz, of Ridgewood, N.J., and Kelly Shumate, and her husband, Alan Shumate, of Midlothian, Va.; son, Brian Gregory, and his wife, Randi Gregory, of Midlothian, Va.; five beautiful and loving granddaughters, Kaitlyn, Kiera and Megan Schwartz and Peyton and Noah Shumate; and his companion and best friend, Duffer.

In addition to his wife and family, John had three other well-known loves in his life: golf, dogs and the New York Yankees.

John Gregory was the patriarch of his family and all looked to him as a beacon of wisdom and few made critical decisions in their lives without first consulting him. Called home to God, he leaves behind a great many who will miss him dearly, but also take some comfort in that they have been bestowed a great blessing to have had their lives intertwine with such an inspirational, beloved and truly great man.

A celebration of life will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, at the chapel of Brunswick Funeral Service, Southport/Oak Island. Burial will be held in George Washington Memorial Park Cemetery, Paramus, N.J.

Memorials may be directed to St. James Fire and Ambulance, 3628 St. James Drive, Southport, NC, 28461.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.brunswickfuneralservice.com.