PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


This obituary was written by Michael. The key points have been boldfaced. We will publish the text of the Chicago Tribune obit when it appears:

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 20 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 month stays in Spain, France, several in Italy, and several 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. Last Thursday he developed a cough and cold which 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 at the end his 4th day coma, he was able to close his lips and give Michael one last kiss. There is magic in life ... and in death. 

He was cremated with the Cremation Society of Illinois, who did a wonderful job of making this difficult time as easy and loving as possible.

Gregory’s did his undergraduate work with a Bachelors of Art in the Fine Arts at Weslyian University in Connecticut and he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University with a Master's Degree in Architecture

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. The firm designed the Nashville Community Bahai Community Center and they were the consulting architects for renovations at The Baha’i Temple in Wilmette. His international work reached as far as Saudi Arabia.

Gregory’s homes range in style from Modern to Arts & Crafts to Classical where he is equally well known for his historically accurate detail or innovative design. His work has been 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 which is part of The Thresholds organization. For a while he helped with the interior design for new homes which were part of Thresholds. For a brief while Gregory worked in "contract design," interior design for businesses, offices, etc.

In the past both Gregory and Michael were involved with Gay Horizons which eventually became The Center on Halsted, a community and support services center for the GBLTQ community. Gregory worked the hotline and facilitated coming out groups there. For many years, he sang in the Windy City Gay Chorus as a baritone. 

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 helping to design a handicapped assessable artist studio for their residency program. Gregory was a volunteer “Lightwalker” with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Although talented and creative his entire life, painting became a relatively new venture for him as supported by teacher, mentor, friend: Nancy Rosen. Gregory was very prolific in his work which included abstract images, color and pattern study and 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 was located in their home and later was involved with its reimagining as the installation went on to become a permanent exhibit at Chicago Children’s Museum on Navy Pier. The collection consists of over 105 collections, hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of pieces. A small memorial to Gregory will be created by CCM in the "Gregory's Favorite Collection" cabinet.

Ken and Amethel Parel-Sewell will be creating a memorial to Gregory on their under construction site "" Gregory loved to play with his Grandfather's stone blocks and he attributed his love of architecture to that experience. Gregory gifted Ken with those ancient blocks. Ken believes that most architects were similarly influenced and says that Gregory taught him "how to play again." He believes that he has been successful in his architecture design firm, One World Architecture, because of that rekindled ability to play with blocks. The site will roll out to encourage other architects to tell their "play" stories and to motivate children, with a contest in Gregory's memory for LEGO designed architectural structures in a Kid's Contest and an Adult Contest, with prizes.

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. For anyone who would like to make a contribution in memory of Gregory, please make your check payable to La Casa Norte (MTE), 3533 West North Avenue, Chicago 60647 or donate online at

1 comment:

  1. Seems like every time my eyes stop watering, you post something. This is gorgeous, Michael, and captures so much of Greg's gentle and eternally inquisitive spirit.Thanks for helping the rest of us though this loss.


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