Richard F. Gereg, age 74, of Wilton, passed away on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at Greenwich Hospital, after fourteen years of managing prostate cancer.
Born in Danbury on May 23, 1943, he was the son of the late George and Helen Benya Gereg of Brookfield, CT.
Richard will be remembered as an unconventional free spirit and original thinker who delighted in open space, whether it be of the mind or in nature.
As a boy of curious disposition Richard tried to build himself a rocket at 6-years-old and ended up losing an eye instead, an event that in no way diminished his lifelong enthusiasm for pyrotechnics. In his youth he roamed the Connecticut back roads on a Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle. In later years he loved nothing more than to float on the Shepaug river in his rubber boat at the Steep Rock Preserve.
He graduated from Western Connecticut State University, having spent one summer also studying philosophy at Harvard. His father had been an auto mechanic for the state police in Westport, CT, and Richard continued in the trade. He was known as The Volvo Wizard with a unique specialty in restoring Volvos built before 1967. Not only limited to cars, Richard was also a consummate fixer of all things. Like Felix the cat of his chosen middle name, he seemed to possess a magic bag of tricks.
He worked extensively in environmental activism, and was honored in 1994 by the Housatonic Valley Association, for community leadership in Brookfield. He strived to strengthen citizens’ environmental protections, especially in matters of eminent domain, resulting, among other things, in the closing of the Brookfield quarry, and the preservation of Laurel Hill Road. For his family and the town he sold the fields of his grandfather Benya’s 77 acre dairy farm — named Happy Landings in honor of Lindbergh’s flight — to Brookfield for permanent, protected open space, where all are welcome to visit.
He will be missed by all who loved his gentle philosophy and humor, his readiness to laugh, and his mischievous though friendly nature.
He is survived by Elizabeth Noble Tinch, his love of 35 years, and their daughter Kyrie S. Tinch, whose gratitude for his loving guidance and wisdom is infinite, as well as brothers Jim J. Gereg and Gerald G. Gereg, and cousins in Colorado, Virginia, and Northeast CT.
A memorial celebration for Richard will be held at The George Washington Tavern in Washington, CT on Sunday, February 25, from 3-5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, random acts of kindness or contributions in his memory to The Steep Rock Association, P.O. Box 279, Washington Depot, CT 06794, will be welcome.
To offer online condolences to his family, and for updated service information please visit www.boutonfuneralhome.com.