To my father, Dr. Gregory August Hyver Sr (1927-2022), the consummate, self-made man, orphaned throughout most of his youth during the Great Depression, penniless until drafted into the US Army, a man who refused to quit on himself, who had an incomparable work ethic, and who always remained modest, selfless and generous. What could only outweigh his prodigious and lofty achievements in his lifetime were his goodness and his virtuousness. He passed away peacefully at the home he built for his son, Greg Jr., surrounded by the family who loved him so dearly. May he Build In Peace. No words can describe this loss.
Note: most photographs on this page can be clicked to be enlarged.
A SCIENTIFIC MIND
A FATHER'S HEART
AN ARTIST'S SOUL
YOU CAN TAKE THE BOY OUT OF THE PLACE ...
BUT YOU CAN'T TAKE THE PLACE OUT OF THE BOY
***** MEMORIAL *****
January 25, 2022
Correction: Greg entered the orphanage at age 7, not age 10 as depicted in the bulletin.
September 7, 1927 - January 7, 2022
- Born in New Orleans, LA
- Raised in an orphanage (7-14 years old)
- World War II Veteran (Merchant Marines)
- 1st Lieutenant, US Army, Korean War
- Masters of Science, Civil Engineering, Stanford
- Masters of Science / PhD, Electrical Engineering, Stanford
- 40-Year Career - Lockheed Missiles and Space (Sunnyvale, CA)
- Designed and built five (5) family homes from scratch (in his "spare" time)
- Built all of the oak cabinetry in all of the homes
- Built a vast number of furniture articles (armoires, beds, tables, chairs, dressers, etc.)
- 13-gallon blood donor for the Red Cross
- 1000 volunteer hours to Veterans Hospital (Palo Alto, CA)
- Married to Patricia (Peeler) Hyver for 68 years
- Dedicated father to four sons (Ralph, Greg Jr., Scott, Todd)
- 10 grandchildren - Gregory, Lauren, Kareem, Sophia, Benjamin, Emma, Abby,
Molly, Natalie, Matthew
- 1 great granddaughter - Layla
- Favorite quote: Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll)
- Favorite food: Gumbo
- 2nd favorite food: New England Clam Chowder (Phil's Fish Market)
- Favorite place in the whole wide world: His workshop
MEMORIAL TRIBUTE VIDEO - by Greg Hyver Jr.
FULL-LENGTH MEMORIAL - MENLO CHURCH - JAN-25-2022
We have password-protected this video to restrict it from general public viewing. If you are family, friends or former colleagues of Greg, please do not hesitate to email his son, Greg Jr, at email@example.com, to be issued a password to view the video. Thank you for your understanding.
MEMORIAL SPEECHES TO HONOR OUR FATHER (PDFs)
Here are the memorial speeches delivered by Greg's four sons -
Ralph, greg jr, scott and todd (Oldest to youngest)
The speeches were delivered on the day of the Memorial, January 25, 2022, at Menlo Church, Menlo Park, California. The order of the speeches went Ralph, Todd, Scott and Greg Jr.
MY PERSONAL MESSAGES OF THANKS
There are really no words that can rightfully describe the pain of losing my father on January 7, 2022. On some days, I just want to run as far away as I can to escape it, but there is no such place to run. You can't run away from your memories--they will always find you. So, I try to view his death in a rational, non-emotional way--death is inevitable, we all must die, he lived a long life, he lived a good life, his family was around his bedside as he passed, etc, etc, etc. I even went so far as to examine the actuarial tables of the Social Security Administration and found that, out of 100,000 boys born today, there will be only 8,184 remaining alive at 94, the age of my father when he passed away. The table also states that the average life expectancy for a male born today is 76.23 years. The life expectancy for a male born in 1927 (the year my father was born) was 59. This means that my father lived 35 years beyond the life expectancy for someone born in 1927. That's 1.6 lifetimes, if you want to look at it from a statistical point of view. That's pretty amazing. So, he's a lucky man ... and I'm a lucky son ... and we're a lucky family. Yet, still, these are only numbers. And my father is gone. And that's all that really matters to me--except for one last thing.
It was the greatest honor of my life to have had my father pass away in our home, one of five homes that my father master-minded, designed and built from absolutely nothing. Painful to watch him wither away before my eyes? Extremely. Comforting that he was surrounded by a family who loved and cared for him? Absolutely. But, none of this would have been possible without my special family being there for my father to aid in his care for 14 months. And, I need to thank each of them for having allowed this.
Naima -- my partner. She was the glue that held together all of the components involved in the care of my father. But, Naima went well beyond this--giving my father showers, preparing his catheter, teeth brushing, cleaning his sheets, changing him, shopping for food, cooking and making sure that he ate his meals even when he had no desire, monitoring his weight, checking on him constantly, always putting a pillow under his bad arm (stroke related) to keep him comfortable, calling 911 or the hospice nurse when those particular moments arose, preparing and taking him to medical appointments (much more difficult than it sounds), keeping his mind alert through conversations, helping him to maintain a positive, mental disposition, asking us all to spend more time with him. She made sure that my father died in dignity and notified the entire family when she sensed his imminent demise so we could be there. Naima is a giving, caring person and I am so fortunate that she loves my father as much as he loved her. My father became Naima's new father to replace her deceased father and Naima became my father's loyal daughter. Thank you, Naima.
Kareem -- my son. He filled so many of the coverage gaps when no one was home to watch over my father. Kareem helped out with much of the heavy-lifting (moving my father from bed to bath to chair), changing urine bags, bathing, cleaning beds and sheets, shopping and cooking meals, preparing and driving to medical appointments, keeping his ears open if the monitor suggested a problem when everyone else was asleep or away. I learned a lot about my son over the past year. Many young adults (and older adults) not in the medical profession would shy away from performing tasks where bodily fluids, nudity and various other unpleasant tasks were involved in taking care of a grandparent. This never stopped Kareem. He put his mission in front of everything else and made sacrifices, in my opinion, because he loved his grandfather, and understood that he was no longer capable of taking care of himself. His consistency in duty deserves recognition and high praise. Thank you, Kareem.
Sophia -- my daughter. Although Sophia did not live in our home, had just had a new baby daughter, and was between 30-40 mins of drive time from her home to ours, Sophia still made regular, weekly visits to spend time with my father. But, anyone who knows Sophia knows that she always goes the extra mile, both literally and figuratively speaking. She also loves her grandpa beyond words. My family spent years living at my father's home in Los Altos Hills where Sophia spent more time with her grandpa upstairs than with her parents downstairs. She was definitely one of grandpa's favorites and could always get him to make that twisted, half-smile for her. We all know how grandparents often spoil their grandchildren. Well, Sophia always knew how to turn on the charm with grandpa, and my father learned that "no" was no longer an option, mostly because he liked Sophia's attention. Sophia can brighten up any room, and I strongly believe that her visits gave her grandpa a better quality of life throughout his decline. Sophia did other tasks for grandpa, as well, like preparing meals and the like, but her real value to grandpa was that emotional connection she made with him, as Sophia's true mission with my father was to make him smile--and laugh--and live longer. Thank you, Sophia.
Layla -- my granddaughter. In the same spirit as Sophia, Layla just basically had to be "Layla" in front of my father to stimulate him to engage with her. Cuteness just works that way. Layla was sure to visit great grandpa on Halloween, his 94th birthday party, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just to say "hello," give him a "high 5," and hang out to watch a 49er game with him. It was truly a special bond that Layla had with "GG" and I wish that it could have lasted for many more years so he could have watched Layla grow and change. He would have spoiled her way more than he did Sophia. That's for sure. <<Click to enlarge the photos>>
MY "MONUMENT" TO HIS MEMORY
While in the Merchant Marines, my father had the letters "AGH" tattooed onto his right forearm. AGH stood for August Gregory Hyver. This decision was likely based on my father's way of remembering his own father, who died when my father was around six years old. In 2020, I wanted to show my father how much he meant to me while he was still alive, so I designed my own AGH lettering and had it tattooed onto the same location of my right forearm. Of course, as a Jr, the AGH meant even more, as I was my father's namesake. I showed it to my father around that same time and told him that it was my tribute to him. I didn't receive the reaction that I thought I would. My father just changed the subject, which disappointed me more than I'm willing to admit. It was only upon later reflection that I could understand why--my father wasn't a guy who needed praise heaped upon him. His validation came from his accomplishments, not from the flattery. I think I embarrassed my father when I showed him my tribute. In my father's world, tributes are given after a person expires.
The photo on the left shows both of our tattoos at the time of my father's death. I couldn't get this image out of my mind as the days passed and wanted to somehow preserve it for the remainder of my life. So a few days later, I came up with a new design that integrated both of our tattoos into a hybrid and, the following day, had True Art Tattoo in Santa Cruz ink the additional A and H (in red) over and under my existing AGH. The final result can be seen in the photo on the right. The tattoo has several meanings to me. First, it's shaped like a cross that points up to heaven. Second, it's shaped like a person with his arms spread apart as if to welcome me back to him. Third, the vertical portion is shaped like a missile aimed into space, as my father spent his career at Lockheed Missles and Space, where he worked in the Polaris and Trident programs (submarine launched ballistic missiles) in his early years. Finally, the color red symbolizes both our blood relationship and the love I have for my father. I could never match my father in his accomplishments, but I could certainly love, honor and respect this man beyond mortal words.
Well, dad, I must bid you farewell now. It is so difficult to let you go, but I hope you have found a wonderful, new place to be--a place where we will all reunite with you again one day. In honor of this, I'll leave you with a song from a fellow New Orleans native (born 1901) who you may know and appreciate, and to help us all reminisce about your amazing life.
I was honored to be your son. Take care of yourself and I'll see you soon.
I love you, dad.