Gregory Michael Gina aged 55 years, of Floral Park, Long Island, passed away suddenly, at home, on June 5, 2022. Loving husband of Bernadette Crowley Gina, proud father of Andrew and Gregory Gina, only son and only child of Ukrainian born parents Christine L Gina, artist and supervising librarian with NYC and predeceased by his father, Jaroslaw Gina, US Army Veteran. Gregory was also predeceased by his loving grandparents Michael and Vera Shpontak, and was a gift to his uncle Paul Shpontak and a guiding light to his cherished nieces, nephews and his many close friends.
Gregory was born on December 14, 1966. A proud Ukrainian American, Gregory attended St. George Academy on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where he graduated in 1984. As an adolescent, Gregory (“Hritz”) enjoyed summers as member the Scouting Organization (PLAST) that nurtured patriotism, love of Ukrainian culture and the beauty of God’s creation in nature. Gregory went on to Queens College where he majored in English and American Literature, graduating with honors in 1989. Following this, Gregory received his JD in Law, graduating from CUNY Law School in 1992. These experiences sculpted Gregory’s moral compass and awareness of global oppression and injustice and revealed to him the path that was his in this life.
Gregory joined the U.S. Army where he served as a military police officer and then in special operations at Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island as a reservist. He worked for the New York City Board of Education, serving a tenure at Austin H. McCormick Island Academy on Rikers Island, educating preparing for their high school diplomas. While teaching, Gregory brought his legal background to guide his students in exercising their constitutional rights in written pro se briefs. He taught them where they were in the criminal justice system and how they could free themselves and begin again anew. He then served as a teacher at Council of Jewish Organization (COJO), educating adults in the computer literacy program. A member of the American Legion, Gregory was a passionate advocate at Veterans Court in Queens County where he supported veteran defendants and sought leniency and reduced sentences. He also served many years on the Board of Directors of the Mental Health Association of Nassau County (MHANC) where he worked tirelessly to resolve problems and improve conditions in the community for those suffering from mental illness. Gregory served as a guardian and court evaluator for those deemed incapable due to mental health. As co-founder of Douglaston Mediation Center, Gregory mediated along with his wife, Bernadette, whom he met in law school. Together in their Douglaston office and at Lee & Kane on Flatbush Avenue, Gregory lead mediation sessions improving communication with disputing parties and creating solutions.
Truly a “man for all seasons”, multi-gifted and such an overwhelmingly generous humanitarian, Gregory will be forever remembered in the memory of those fortunate enough to have met him. Tireless in his advocacy, unceasing in principle, he lived a life devoted to faith, family and country. His membership in countless civic organizations and his pro bono legal counsel to these organizations has not gone unrecognized.
Gregory loved baseball and coached both little league and football in Floral Park treasuring these experiences with his sons Andrew and Gregory. You could always find Greg with a vast smile across his face, exuberating his love and passion for life.
A memorial mass will be held on Saturday, June 11th at 10:00 am at Holy Cross Ukrainian Catholic Church located at 3112 30th St, Astoria, NY 11106.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Gregory's memory can be made to the Mental Health Association of Nassau County (MHANC) .
Mental Health Association of Nassau County (MHANC)
16 Main Street, Hempstead NY 11550