Longtime Oxford resident Gregory Velasco, 69, died in a motorcycle accident on April 6, 2021. Born and raised in northwest Detroit, he was a kind, strong man who enjoyed nature and spent most of his time being of service to others. Greg, also known as Big Daddy to his coworkers and friends, was a retired union roofer (Local 149) who still offered his time, skills and amazing breadth of knowledge to anyone who needed help – he especially enjoyed working with his group of friends that he called the ‘retirement crew’.
Greg was devoted to his wife Emma, and they were a pair to be reckoned with. Greg and Emma loved to travel together, most often to a special place in Mexico, and they commented often on the unbelievable blessings and joy that their life together held – their love and vibrant energy was visible to anyone who saw them together. Their favorite activity was riding together and they enjoyed many miles of open road on the Road King.
Greg was previously married to Linda (Jansen) Velasco. He was her protector, antagonist and guardian, and they had two children together – Dustin and Kurt. They moved to the Oxford area together in 1985 and sadly, Linda passed in 2004.
Greg was outspoken and passionate about topics mostly centered around human rights, the balanced and equal responsibility of the community to care for each other in a fair manner, the right for people to voice their opinion, and the value of the solidarity and brotherhood of the union. He was a very balanced thinker and was able to articulate a non-biased stance – that’s why his advice was sought by so many. Greg could also make it loudly known if he had an issue with someone he disagreed with, or if a coworker made a blunder on the job. It was well-known that he was loved by many and feared by some – but he always had a forgiving heart and was willing to give second and third chances.
Big Daddy was a touchstone to so many, but his entire heart and soul were dedicated to his family. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Rosalee (Wolfe) and Robert Velasco, his first wife of 32 years Linda (Jansen) Velasco, as well as several dearly loved aunts, uncles and cousins. He is survived by his beloved wife, Emma, his sister CarolAnn Wasilco, brother Robert (Kathy) Velasco, and the blended family of children that he so loved and was so proud of: Dustin (Sara) Velasco, Kurt (Jan) Velasco, JJ Vail, Eli Vail, and Caitlin (Ben) Fisher. Greg was an awesome grandpa, and leaves behind Adam, Anthony and Krystina Velasco, Miles, Mason and Mila Velasco, and Bethany, Rebecca and Greg Fisher. Greg also leaves behind his closest cousin and best friend, Ed Velasco of Metamora.
As the family moves forward after this unbelievable loss, they ask that people increase their motorcycle awareness to avoid these senseless tragedies.
Donations can be made in Greg’s name to the Seven Ponds Nature Center, a non-profit environmental education in Dryden, Michigan.
There will be a memorial service to celebrate Greg’s life on Friday, April 23rd, at 11:00 am at the VFW Park in Royal Oak (Lincoln/Campbell). This is an outside service, and safety and health precautions will be observed.