Gregory Van Simmons was born February 12, 1963 at Professional Hospital, Westchester County, Yonkers, NY to Fletcher W. Simmons and Beatrice Hayes Simmons. He was baptized at an early age at the Institutional African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Yonkers, NY, where he served as an Usher and Junior Steward.Gregory was an avid reader. He learned to read at an early age; got his library card at an early age. Gregory was partial to novels by Tom Clancy and John Grisham. Greg also liked historical and Biblical writings by Martin L. King, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and the life of Disciple, Peter. Gregory graduated from Yonkers High School, Yonkers, NY. He was employed by Ciba-Geigy Corporation. He later joined the U.S. Marine Corps, where he obtained the rank of Specialist/E4. While in the Marines, he was deployed to Beirut, Lebanon with the Peace Keeping Force; in which the Marines were bombed in a terrorist attack where two hundred forty-three Marines lost their lives.Gregory later served in the U.S. Army National Guard. During his National Guard Service, he was one of the first responders at 911/World Trade Center bombing. He was also called to active duty for the Afghan Conflict. Gregory leaves to cherish his memory His father and mother, Fletcher W. Simmons and Beatrice Hayes Simmons of Cuthbert, GA; brother, Arnold G. Hayes of Nashville, TN; brother-in-law, Renat’e Miller of Yonkers, NY; godmother, E. Bernice Hayes; godsister, Sheryl (John) Holmes of Montgomery, AL; godfather, David (Marie) Simmons of Alpine, FL; seven nieces, one nephew; five great-nieces, two great-nephews and one great-great nephew; a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.Gregory was preceded in death by two sisters, Rosalyn Simmons and Deidre Miller; one sister-in-law, Vivian Reed Hayes. He was also preceded in death by his grandparents, Foy Simmons and Carrie Sales Simmons of Cuthbert, GA; Callum C. Hayes and Hildra Cook Hayes of Calhoun, AL.