Wednesday, May 26, 2021
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and beverages will be provided.
A Prayer Service will begin at 7PM.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Greg Klenow was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many. A generous, driven, and dedicated man, he lived his life with great passion and dedication. Greg selflessly modeled acceptance for each and every person he met. He found his greatest reward in the family he so deeply loved. Although he will be deeply missed, Greg leaves behind a wonderful collection of memories for his family and special friends to cherish for years to come.
After many years of suffering through the Depression and World War II, the year 1949 brought much-needed prosperity. Televisions and cars were growing both in size and popularity. The first Polaroid Camera went on sale and the tunes of Frank Sinatra entertained listeners from coast to coast. In the Midwest town of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Larry and Mary Klenow welcomed home their newborn son, Gregory, on October 23rd. Second in line of ten children, there was never a dull moment in the Klenow household!
Greg lived a typical childhood of the times. He and his siblings attended local Catholic schools beginning at St. Joseph School. His lifelong love of sports began at a young age. He enjoyed playing football and basketball for Hackett Catholic Central before graduating with the Class of 1967. With a strong interest in math, he set off for Western Michigan University to follow in his father’s footsteps as a Certified Public Accountant. Greg earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1971 in Accounting. He began his career at Ernst and Ernst as an Audit Supervisor and became a CPA. He later went on to work at The Upjohn Company in Corporate General Accounts for fifteen years. Whatever he put his mind to doing, he did it with great dedication. He loved to serve people and enjoyed putting in long hours. Eager to expand his knowledge, Greg studied to become a Certified Financial Planner and left his job to go into business on his own. Greg took great pride in providing accurate, honest, and timely service to his clients over the years. He made many lasting friendships that spanned across generations.
Not to be forgotten, however, was the meeting of his sweetheart, Mary. The two of them hit it off at the local night spot, The Underdog, in downtown Kalamazoo. She was immediately drawn to his striking blue eyes and he looked stunningly dapper in his suit. Mary was the first one to strike up a conversation and the rest was history! Together they raised three wonderful children and made many lasting memories. As a family, they took several trips to California to visit Greg’s family who had moved out there. They enjoyed renting cabins on Lake Tahoe where they would enjoy one another’s company the entire week. A supportive father, Greg was active in his children’s lives and loved coaching Sarah’s basketball team during her years at St. Monica Elementary. No matter how busy he was with his job, he always made time for his family, encouraging them in their many endeavors.
Active and on the go, Greg never passed up any opportunity. He enjoyed playing softball on a Kalamazoo Recreation League as well as on the Upjohn Company softball team and basketball leagues at The Courthouse. He played on area golf courses and enjoyed league play for many years. Greg looked forward to his annual golfing trips with his friends. In addition to his love of sports, Greg was fond of the water. He and Mary owned a second home on Little Pine Lake. The rule was as soon as tax season was over, they went every weekend until the leaves fell off the trees! They enjoyed hosting friends out to the lake on occasion and Greg never missed his annual weekend trip every summer to his lifelong friend's cottage in Beaverton, Michigan. Greg also liked to sneak away with his buddies to the Jackson Harness Raceway. When it came to sports, he savored his Notre Dame Fighting Irish football as well as his alma mater, the WMU Broncos basketball team where he held annual season tickets. Greg enjoyed a wide variety of physical activity and sports and made many special friends who loved to attend or play right along with him!
Later in life, Greg thoroughly enjoyed the life of a grandfather. Silly as well as fun-loving, he looked forward to visits from Aidan and Adalyn, where he was known to run through the sprinklers, dance to the songs on the radio together, and enjoy each other's company. He also treasured his time fishing with his grandson, Jackson. Classical musical, a good mystery novel, and stamp collecting were among his favorite relaxing pastimes. In fact, Greg had several albums with stamp collections from all over the world and enjoyed many evenings out at the symphony with Mary. Generous beyond measure, Greg selflessly took care of the ones he loved. He had a special knack for always looking out for everyone and his positive outlook often lifted the spirits of others when they needed it most. A true friend with a heart of gold, Greg will indeed be missed. May his memories live on eternally in the hearts of the many close friends and family he leaves behind.
Gregory J. Klenow, of Portage, Michigan, passed away May 22, 2021 after battling challenges related to his papillary thyroid cancer diagnosis for the past fifteen years. Surviving are his loving wife of 42 years, Mary; two children: Theresa (Tony) Mezo and Brent (Chiemi) Hopper and; five grandchildren: Jackson, Sam, Aidan, Adalyn, and Serina; siblings: Mike (Kathy) Klenow, Jerry (Mary) Klenow, Tom (Shiela) Klenow, Jeff (Jennie) Klenow, Peggy (Tim) Campbell, Jeanne (Brian) Costello, Pete (Christine) Klenow; two aunts: Mary Jeanne Klenow and Janet Brubaker; and several nieces and nephews. Greg was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Sarah; and brothers: Jim and Bernie. He will be greatly missed by family and friends for his sense of humor and fun-loving spirit. He led by example in numerous ways.
Please join us at visitation to raise a glass and share stories, memories, and laughter to remember Greg. Visitation 5-7 PM Wednesday (MAY 26) at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. A prayer service will be held at 7 PM. Visit Greg’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign his online guestbook. In lieu of flowers, donations in Greg’s memory may be directed to Hackett Catholic Prep High School or a charity of your choice. Greg always said he’d had a wonderful life. Your attendance at his celebration would be a testament to that.