MARLEY MARIE GREGORY, age 23 – known to wear sweatpants and hoodies year-round, dance to ‘oldies but goodies’ and bless the world with her benevolent, warm spirit – passed away on June 29th, 2020.
Born on June 8th, 1997 to parents Kimberly Gregory and Brian Gregory, this beloved and precious daughter, sister, granddaughter, best friend, niece, cousin, student, and colleague was the type of young woman who made friends at the grocery store, always kept herself entertained, and believed mayonnaise and butter belonged on everything.
Raised by her mother Kim, Marley and her brother, Justin Horrillo, grew up in Los Gatos, CA. Marley attended Daves Avenue Elementary School, progressed to R.J. Fisher Middle School, and continued to Los Gatos High School, where she graduated in 2015. Her passion for working with children followed her throughout her life, as she enjoyed working with the local recreation department at a variety of elementary schools, while also helping out families during the week in her spare time. Marley thoroughly enjoyed playing field hockey and lacrosse at LGHS. Moreover, during high school, her adoration for the arts truly blossomed as she advanced from notebook sketches to breathtaking canvas oil paintings. Throughout her years, Marley created lifelong friendships that always continued to inspire those around her to let loose, be goofy, and surround themselves with love. Marley’s free spirit enjoyed solo drives, climbing trees, pushing the limits, and occasionally wreaking havoc around town like a hooligan – an adored, beautiful, grungy, sweet, hooligan.
Lovingly remembered as a natural-born caregiver, dog lover, tie-dye guru, gifted painter, and pee-her-pants jokester, Marley was days away from confidently taking her medical assistant certification test. She planned on continuing her education in pursuit of becoming an ultrasound technician. Marley’s remarkable beauty and kindness made lasting impressions on every person she met. Her unique style set trends among her peers, such as summertime beanies, formal wear paired with Doc Martins, and nothing short of perfect eyebrows. Marley could roll out of bed and look like she belonged on a Calvin Klein billboard. As a baby, Marley had some big cheeks – cheeks so big, they followed her into adulthood. Marley breathed lightness into awkward situations, was the life of the party, and had a smile that could light the Olympic torch. She possessed a variety of talents such as selecting the perfect movie to watch, killing it at Dance-Dance Revolution, having a keen eye for art and all things fashion, as well as having the ability to occasionally sleep with one eye open; always keeping tabs on those around her. Her burning love for her family was, and continues to be, unconditional.
Marley’s untamable spirit and ginormous heart was much too big for her tall and petite body. Her old soul desired a world with boundless opportunity, experience, and bliss. She has now graduated to the sublime energy she had always dreamed of and can finally be free. She had, and continues to have, the effect on people to be unequivocally drawn to her. Perhaps it was the way she threw her head back when she laughed and clapped her hands, or perhaps it was the way her body enveloped around you when she hugged you and squeezed. The truth is, Marley Marie Gregory lived more in her twenty-three years, than most have their whole lives. As she wrote in a letter to her future self, “Let your angel protect you, heaven accept you, demons neglect you, and neighbors respect you.” Those who were blessed to have known Marley, understand they lost a vibrant light from their daily lives but gained an eternal angel.
In the deepest recesses of her heart, Marley would want us to celebrate her life by performing simple acts of kindness towards ourselves and others. Just as she learned from her grandmother, Tina, Marley would tell you to give yourself the biggest hug when you wake up every day. She always found joy in the small things. Next time you’re in the car, stick your head out of the window (like a dog) for Marley.