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.
Special Olympics Area 16
50505 Meadow Oak Trail
Mattawan, MI 49071
Life Story / Obituary
A kind soul with arms always ready for an eager hug, Greg Visel's warm personality will never be forgotten. His kind and happy way in life became contagious, encouraging friendships just about everywhere he went. To know him, indeed, was to love him. We will never forget him.
Greg was born in 1987. This year was one second shorter than all the other years before its time. This small shortage was due to adjusting for the Gregorian calendar. It was the only second wasted, however, because the year still made a lot of history. With the spared second, the world's population still managed to reach 5 billion people. Ronald Reagan presided over about 266 million in the United States alone. Many of these people enjoyed the television debut of "The Simpsons" and "Full House." Both of these shows became hits that lasted for many years. Indeed, it was a good year to be alive.
Near the beginning of Autumn, the weather began to cool, and the leaves were contemplating a change of heart. On September 30, 1987, Greg started his life in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Visel family adopted him into their home with much joy. Pete and Ben, his brothers, were ready to help teach their new little brother all about life. Ironically, he also taught them a lot about life too. With three boys, mom and dad worked hard to keep the family comfortable and happy despite a few brotherly quarrels that are bound to come up. Greg's father supported the family working as a community relations manager for the Indiana Michigan Power Company while his mother worked as a registered nurse at Bronson Methodist Hospital.
Greg spent his childhood in the village of Schoolcraft, Michigan. He brought the gift of being one of the school's first special needs students. The district welcomed the opportunity to learn more about how to accommodate his educational needs, striving to make it a positive experience for everyone involved. Greg also impacted his brothers' development and career choices, teaching them about his special needs as they grew up together.
After Greg completed his senior year in high school, he had his sights set on bigger things in life. One of those things happened to be moving out of his parents' house as soon as possible. The "let's get it done!" mentality was naturally part of his personality. Instead of waiting for the okay on this big decision, Greg jokingly placed a sign on his bedroom door advertising a "Room for Rent!" Rather than worry about the expenses incurred for the move, he borrowed his parents' credit card and set off to finalize his plan.
Showing responsibility, he also enrolled in a young adult program through KRESA. His education from the program led to a job at MRC Industries. Greg was a well known and well-loved employee even though he was not exactly the most diligent worker.
He successfully moved out of his childhood home and found a home in Portage. This was a comfortable location for Greg. At the nearby ballpark, he often rode his bike to watch baseball games. He also formed a close relationship with those he met through his Circle of Friends social group. He would often share how fond and thankful he was for each of his friends, as they were all incredibly important to him.
The Special Olympics were an integral part of Greg's life. He competed in bowling, basketball, soccer, track, and golf. Greg's favorite event was bowling. He even qualified and traveled to Central Michigan University for the state competitions three times!
In his life, Greg enjoyed more than a few memorable adventures. He traveled to Seaside, Oregon, where he visited Crater Lake famous for its incredible clarity and blue color. On the way home from that trip, he also went to Yellowstone National Park, where he explored and stayed in the Big Lodge. He witnessed the majestic vistas of the Grand Canyon and the endless twinkling lights of Las Vegas where he once came out of his hotel room dressed in green from head to toe. He gave no reason for such an interesting outfit, but Ben made a big white letter "M" and taped it on Greg's belly, making him look like a life-sized M&M. He brought smiles to everyone around.
One of Greg's chosen past times was figuring out how to use the latest technology. He adored his iPhone mainly because it allowed him to stay in touch with his friends and loved ones. He would often FaceTime or call people just to chat. Some might tell you he was not one to talk much, but others will tell you he filled up their voicemails. When he felt the desire to just sit and be, he liked to watch TV. Interestingly, he only watched Channel 3 - no matter what was on - he would not flip the channels. When he felt the need to practice his faith, he relied on his membership with the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.
Sadly, Greg died on October 10, 2019. We will miss the phone calls from Greg and feeling the presence of his kind and gentle spirit in our lives. We will even miss his determined and sometimes stubborn ways. However, we have many memories we can hold close to our hearts and be thankful for. As Greg would say, we don't have to say goodbye, but rather lovingly, "Toodaloo!"
Greg was preceded in death by his mother, Nancy. Surviving are his father, Barry; 2 brothers: Ben (Trisha) Visel and Pete Visel; and 4 nephews and nieces: Jake, Joe, Addie, and Lexi. Cremation has taken place. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments from 5-7 PM on Friday (OCT. 18) at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, 269-375-2900. Private burial will take place. Visit Greg's personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may read his Life Story, archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign his online guestbook. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Special Olympics Area 16, 50505 Meadow Oak Trail, Mattawan, MI 49071.