Gregory L. Draper ’57
1933 – 2015
Gregory Lee Draper of Bellevue, WA took flight Sept. 14, 2015 as he passed away in the presence of those who loved him most. He spent his last days under the loving care of Evergreen Hospice, family and dear friends.
Greg was born on February 20, 1935 in Bremerton, WA to Helen and Bill Draper. He was their second child after his older sister, Diane, who predeceased him in death. Greg attended Queen Anne High School. Upon graduation he went to the University of Washington, became a proud and loyal member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering.
Greg served in the U.S. Marine Corps in San Diego, CA. “Once a Marine always a Marine” was frequently heard. Upon discharge he was employed by Douglas Aircraft Co. where he worked on the development of the A4 ground support fighter for the navy and marines.
During his time in California he met his loving wife of 54 years, an attractive and lively flight attendant named Nancy, who was living in the beach house next door. They married in 1961 and eventually returned to Mercer Island, WA. They started a family and in November of 1966 were blessed with an only daughter. Greg, with then partner, fulfilled another life goal in founding UCO, Inc., a manufacturing company in Redmond WA which Greg headed until it’s sale in 2003.
In many ways, Greg was a true renaissance man. His zest for life, his genuine interest in the people wherever he set foot, his craving for foreign countries and cultures made him an inveterate traveler. His passion and interest in aviation and the human need to fly led him to become an active docent at the Museum of Flight in his later years.
Greg was well read and had a remarkable aptitude for learning. His interests ranged from sport to world politics, literature to art, religion to science and philosophy to trivia. This made him a unique communicator, always ready to spark a conversation or take on any subject. He was passionately interested in the real workings of the human mind, intellect and heart. Greg was an incredible listener, who was innately curious about the world he lived in and those he met.
Greg had a consummate sense of humor; his readiness to initiate and participate in activity was contagious. Who doesn’t remember his eagerness to give friends and family reason to laugh? Ever willing to be silly and have fun highlighted by the sign hanging on the shed at Camp Draper “For children trapped in adult bodies”.
Greg imparted to his family, lessons of hard work, core values, and that life knows no limits. He had an incomparable ability as a friend to so many. First and foremost he was a loving husband and an exceptional father and grandfather. He demonstrated strength, courage and wisdom till the end.
We miss him terribly!
He is survived by; Nancy Draper, Jennifer Draper Kunz, Markus Kunz, Mia and Ellie Draper Kunz
A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, October 23rd, 1pm at Bellevue Presbyterian Church, 1717 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to one of the following: Seattle Cancer Care Alliance – Melanoma Research, PO Box 19023, Seattle, WA 98109.
Or, Evergreen Health Foundation – Hospice Care, 12040 NE 128th Street, MS #5 Kirkland, WA 98034. Checks payable to either indicting Gregory Draper, memorial tribute.
Online donations can be made online here:
Published in the Seattle Times edition of October 4, 2015