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PASSAGES Gregory Maire
By Michael Horvath
2015-10-09

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Michael Horvich and Gregory Maire have lived and loved together in a committed, same sex relationship for the last 40+ years. Sunday at 12 noon, Gregory Maire, diagnosed with young onset dementia/Alzheimer's and who had been living at the Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation on the special memory care unit for the last 18 months, passed on to his next adventure on the other side of life as we know it.

Gregory lived with and Michael supported him through the diagnosis of young onset dementia/Alzheimer's for 12 years—and I mean they LIVED! They traveled the world, including stays in Spain, France, several in Italy and several in Mexico. Gregory continued to be active in many charitable organizations, attended the Lyric Opera and other theater events, entertained, and spent full days enjoying Evanston, where they lived, and Chicago culture.

Gregory was not a victim of Alzheimer's; he was a hero in life. His calm, gentle, thoughtful demeanor never failed him and he gave his love to family and friends as freely and easily as ever. Recently, he developed a cough and cold that quickly developed into pneumonia. Midwest Hospice did a stellar job of keeping Gregory comfortable and supporting Michael as well in his understanding of the process of dying. Gregory's death was an easy one for him and in the fourth day of his coma, he was able to close his lips and give Michael one last kiss. There is magic in life ... and in death.

Gregory did his undergraduate work at Weslyian University in Connecticut and he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University. He retired from his architect and interior-designer firm, Gregory Maire Architect Ltd, in 2005. His homes and design can be seen in Chicago's Gold Coast and throughout the North Shore suburbs. His firm was the consulting architects for renovations at The Baha'i Temple in Wilmette. His international work reached as far as Saudi Arabia.p

Gregory's homes range in style from modern to classical, and he was equally known for his historically accurate detail or innovative design. His work was published in a number of architecture and design magazines as well as The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune.

Earlier in his career, he was involved as a supervisor for an independent living house that is part of The Thresholds organization. In the past, both Gregory and Michael were involved with Horizons, which eventually became Center on Halsted. Gregory worked the hotline and facilitated coming-out groups. Gregory served on the board of DIFFA (Design Industry Foundation for AIDS) for many years and served as president as well. He worked pro bono for the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois, helping to design a disabled-assessable artist studio.

Talented and creative his entire life, painting became a relatively new venture for Gregory, and he was supported by teacher, mentor and friend Nancy Rosen. Gregory was very prolific with his work, which included abstract images, color and pattern study; he had several art shows, including one at Lincolnwood Village Town Hall Gallery and at the Lieberman Center.

Gregory was instrumental in helping create "Michael's Museum: A Curious Collection of Tiny Treasures," which went on to become a permanent exhibit at Chicago Children's Museum on Navy Pier.

Gregory and Michael recently established the More Than Ever Education Fund (MTE), which will be administered by La Casa Norte, a non-profit supporting homeless youth and families. People who would like to make a contribution in memory of Gregory can make checks payable to La Casa Norte (MTE), 3533 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, or donate online at www.lacasanorte.org .

Arrangements by Cremation Society of Illinois, 773-281-5058 or www.cremation-society.com


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