Life Story / Obituary
Gregory “Francis” Dean Retzlaff passed on to the next life on July 25th2023 at the age of 59 from cardiac arrest at Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI. Francis, as he was known to many of his friends, was an active member of the Grand Rapids LGBTQIA+ community working with and in different support groups and pride celebrations. He was an avid collector of tarantulas with over 70 in his collection as well as 2 red tail boas, Alexandra and Anastasia, and “Kitten” his black cat. Greg loved talking about his “babies” to anyone and everyone that would listen and spent countless hours each week tending to them. He received his Bachelors of Social Work from Grand Valley State University and was almost finished with his Masters in Social work also from GVSU, He was immensely proud of his academic achievements and graduated with honors. Greg was an active thrill seeker in his younger years, enjoying off-roading in his sand rail, quads, and snowmobiles. He loved anything he could drive fast. One of Greg’s favorite past times was talking and spending time with his friends and family usually over a meal he prepared. He had a huge heart and would help anyone in need, and had an energy that was unmatched, his presence will forever be missed by those that knew him. Greg was preceded in death by his mother, Nancy Retzlaff ,74 of Milwaukee, WI, and sister Julie Larson, 56 of Stockton, CA. He is survived by his father Raymond Retzlaff, daughter Erica Retzlaff, sons Shane and Brandon Retzlaff, brother Jeff Retzlaff and many extended family members and friends.
Two services will be held to celebrate Greg's life:
Michigan family and friends will gather at Rumors Nightclub, 69 Division Ave S, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 on August 3rd at 2 PM.
Milwaukee family and friends will gather at Greg's brother's home at N171 W20333 Northview Dr., Jackson, WI on August 6th at 11 AM.