Born on April 7, 1950, to Marvin and Roberta Davis in Urbana, IL, Greg lived the majority of a rambunctious childhood with his two sisters Christine and Susan in Mahomet, IL. It was in his youth in Illinois that Greg discovered his love for driving, a fervent need to be behind the wheel of a car that he maintained for his entire life, occasionally turning his hobby into a profession.
Greg graduated from Mahomet Seymour High School, Mahomet, IL, in 1968. He briefly attended Eastern Illinois University then transferred to Southern Illinois University, where he graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Greg channeled his creativity into many different art mediums: sculpture and metal-casting gave him the opportunity to fabricate commissioned works, woodworking led him to a stint in carpentry, and a fascination with art history led him to a brief job owning a framing shop. However, it was music that served as Greg’s greatest source of inspiration. Hardly seen without a guitar by his side, Greg wrote dozens of songs throughout his life, always ready to commemorate an important occasion or celebrate a special person with an original song he had seemingly written on the spot. Since 2008, Greg lent his beautiful tenor to The Harbormen, one of Long Island’s premier barbershop choirs, which brought him immense joy and satisfaction while performing, be it for an audience of one or 1,000.
Greg often used his music to express his spirituality as well. In 1974, Greg dedicated his life to the Unification Church, eventually earning a Masters in Religious Education from the Unification Theological Seminary in 1989. Greg fused his affection for music and his faith by hosting a radio program called “Spirit Talk,” where he invited listeners to call in and speak with “fellow traveler Davo.” Traveler was the perfect title for Greg, as he spanned the globe with his desire to help those in need through the church, visiting Russia, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Germany, and El Salvador.
Greg met the love of his life Sumiko when both were working for the church in Philadelphia in 1977, but it wasn’t until two years later that they were matched by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, where Greg was uncharacteristically unable to speak, but overjoyed to accept. Again, Greg’s affinity for music played a role, as Sumiko says she fell in love with Greg when he led the team in a rendition of “You are My Sunshine” in Sumiko’s honor. The two were blessed at Madison Square Garden in a ceremony presided by Rev. Moon himself on July 1, 1982. In 1983, they welcomed their first daughter Miyo into the world. In 1986, their second daughter Misook completed their family.
To sum up Greg in one word, it would be passionate. Once Greg showed an interest in something, his enthusiasm, eagerness, and excitement would propel him extensively into that subject. When Greg was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it drastically limited his ability to move. Greg’s drive to not let his illness define him led him to discover a new love in recumbent trikes. Not only was he elated to gain back some of his mobility with his trike, he wanted to share his triumph in the hope that his success story could help others in similar positions. He opened up his own trike store called Your Trike Spirit, which he operated for almost a decade, and led him to meet many other members of the trike community nationwide.
Greg is survived by his wife, Sumiko; their daughters Miyo (James) Sandlin and Misook (Matt) Stoia; three grandchildren, Hikari, Elora, and Mila; his sisters Christine (Mike) Ellis and Susan (Gene) Everett; and numerous beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He is preceded in death by his father Marvin and mother Roberta.
A memorial and celebration of life will be held December 9th, 12pm at the Claude R. Boyd-Caratozzolo Funeral Home. 1785 Deer Park Ave, Deer Park, NY 11729.