On September 24, 2018, surrounded by family and loved ones, Jean Gregory Rekoff, at the age of 79, passed into the hands of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Greg, as he was known by friends and family, was born February 27th, 1939, the youngest of four children, to Elizabeth Fetz Rekoff originally from Switzerland, and Michael George Rekoff (Rykof) from Russia. Greg was a first generation American borne of immigrant parents, proudly serving his country by joining the Marines and National Guard after attending college, to serve his country and community.
Greg graduated from Ball High School in 1957, where faculty selected him as a Good Fellow. An avid athlete, Greg was an all-star player of high school football and basketball. Greg went on to play college basketball on scholarship at Texas A & M College Station, and attended The University of Houston. Upon his return to his hometown of Galveston, he took over the family general construction business, The Rekoff Company. Greg, a master craftsman, was instrumental in many notable Galveston construction projects, including, but certainly not limited to, The US National Bank Building, Hometown Bank 45th and Seawall, The Grand Opera House, The Mary Moody Northern Mansion, and the Galveston Racquet Club. Greg’s work ethic and his commitment to quality workmanship was evident in all things, immense and small.
Greg’s hobbies included tennis, racquetball, photography, as well as flying. Earning his pilot’s license at Galveston’s Scholes Field, he assisted in transporting live organs across the country on behalf of UTMB, serving many families and changing individual lives. His compassion carried over to his love of canines, his pets were like children to him.
Woodworking was the most beloved of all his hobbies and past-times. While a perfectionist in woodworking in restorations and construction details, his true joy was shown in creations for his grandchildren. Always using the finest and rarest woods, he created wooden toys, rocking horses, doll houses, as well as jewelry boxes and so much more with unique and loving detail.
Greg is preceded in death by both parents, as well as his brother Michael, and sisters Elsa and Billie.
Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Kay Ellis Rekoff and her children: Dee Byrd Shelton-Sharretts and her husband Greg, Dana Byrd Hand and husband Jim, Stacy Wayne Byrd and wife Devra.
A loving father, he is survived by his children: Gregg Rekoff and wife Carol, Kevin Rekoff and wife Kristy, Ray Rekoff and wife Brenda, Rick Rekoff and Cheryl, Ronny Rekoff and wife Rita, Michelle Rekoff Walding and Gary, Beloved grandchildren surviving Greg: Justin, Lindsey, Melissa, Megan, Spencer, Cory, Jenna, Cody, Shelby, Michael, K.C., Taryn, Karly, Lauren, Ian, Mallory, Matthew, Kristen, Ben, and Logan. The youngest generation beloved by Greg are his great grandchildren: Tristan, Bailey Rae, Lincoln, Lyndie, Kinsley, Callie, Bailey Colette, Drew, Violet, and Quinn. In addition, Greg was most fond of his sibling’s children, his nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank Rev. Edward Thompson, A-Med Hospice and Stacey, The Meridian staff, and especially Valerie, Danna, and Jaime.
Visitation with the family will be at J. Levy & Termini Funeral Home on Sunday, September 30th, 2018 at 2:30 PM to be followed by a Memorial service at 3:30 PM to be officiated by The Rev. Edward Thompson. A reception will follow at Eaton Hall, Trinity Episcopal Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to be made to The American Cancer Society, Galveston Humane Society, or The Galveston Educational Foundation to fund vocational programs specializing in woodworking and construction.