Howard Keith Gregory was born February 22, 1940, in Santa Monica, CA. He grew up in Louisville, KY, and Tampa, FL. After graduating from Florida State University with a B.A. in English, Howard moved to France to teach English as a second language. While there he completed the requirements for an M.A. in French from Middlebury College in Vermont.
Howard stayed in France for 13 years, totally immersing himself in French culture. Upon returning to the United States in 1978, he taught French at the University of Kentucky.
In addition to his interests in French language and culture, Howard was an amateur architectural historian and an ardent preservationist. He saved several historically significant properties from destruction in both France and Kentucky. Most notably, while farming in the south of France, Howard worked on saving a castle in Mezerville (see: chateau-de-mezerville.org.) He then returned to Mercer County, KY, ancestral home of his mother’s family, where he undertook another farming operation and restored another historic property, Walnut Hall.
During this period, Howard earned an M.A. in Historic Preservation from the University of Kentucky. He also worked briefly as a consultant to the state preservation office. In that capacity he undertook a study of historic timber-frame buildings in Mercer County. Howard served as president of the Harrodsburg Historical Society and chairman of the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Landmarks Association.
In addition to his passion for historic preservation, Howard was a lifelong advocate of physical fitness. He supported the Paris YMCA both financially and in person, working out several times a week until cancer finally caught up with him.
Howard passed away on November 1, 2021. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Marie-France Lavaud Gregory. He is survived by a son Fern (Helene) Gregory and daughter Rebecca Gregory, as well as three grandchildren: Joshua Gregory, Louise Rivet and Paul Rivet.
He is also survived by his second wife, Lynda Gregory, and his younger brother, Gary Gregory, as well as a nephew Chad (Taryn) Gregory and numerous cousins.
Howard will be buried in a private ceremony at the Lexington Cemetery. Donations are suggested to the YMCA of Paris, or HPBC/Hopewell Museum. www.hintonturner.com