Greg Velin was alive for 72 years until he departed Earth on December 24th, 2022 for his next adventure. He leaves behind his wife of 11 years, Suzzanne Plaisance. Greg and Suzzanne shared a deep love and had a lifetime of escapades. He is survived by his only son Carl, with whom he had an unbreakable bond, along with his cherished grandson Camron. They all loved to take truck rides and share endless stories. Preceding him in death were his parents Kenneth Velin and Priscilla Villas Velin.
Also missing him today are his two stepdaughters Vanessa (Nick) Mommaerts and Johannah (Daniel) Carlyon who lovingly called Greg their bonus dad, along with their children, Jamison and Jackson Mommaerts and Zachary Carlyon. Greg taught all children the importance of playing in the snow and the art of poker. He has many relatives and cousins, with a special closeness to Liz and John Arnold of Fargo ND. Greg has so many friends who he cared about deeply, especially Al Przybylski (Polish Punisher) of Winona, nephew Trevor Keilholtz, and lifelong friends Peter Werner, Patrick McCarthy and Greg Groebner.
Greg was 50% Spartan Greek and 50% Swede. (He described himself as a cross between Castro and a Muppet.) Greg was a native of the Minneapolis West Bank and Columbia Heights, but from the age of 18 he often called Winona his home. A lifelong gardener, Greg always felt closest to his Creator when his hands were in the soil; he took great pride in his beautiful vegetables and flowers. A self-proclaimed “motorcycle enthusiast,” Greg spent years customizing his Gold Wing. He later treasured his time soaring on Highway 61 and crisscrossing the USA on his Indian Scout.
He was a unique dresser, hat collector, and all-around eccentric, funny human. He was a wildly gifted and prolific artist, painter, printmaker, and poet. He loved loud music and lived a full, hilarious, and vivid life for as long as he was able.
He was proud to be a conscientious objector to the war in Vietnam and was a loyal member of the Teamsters and Printers Union. As a constant reader, Greg was a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut…. God willing he is now able to fly free, fast, and beyond Tralfamador.
Greg Velin Art Retrospective will be on display at No Name Bar, 252 E 3rd Street, Winona, from April 2-April 15. There will be live music from Thomas and the Shakes on April 14, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
A celebration of his life will be held on April 15th, 2023, the date of the annual Flood Run. It will be held at Holzinger Lodge in Winona, MN. The gathering starts at 10:00am, words may be spoken at 11:00am, and a light lunch will be available at 12:00pm. Hoff Funeral Home assisted with arrangements, and you can visit their website to leave a comment for the family. If you loved him, join us for a bon voyage to Greg. And if you didn’t love him, we feel certain he felt the same way.
Greg's big heart held a special place for children; he was a life-long supporter of St. Jude’s Hospital and the LeSabre Native American School for Children. He was also a passionate supporter of the ACLU. In lieu of flowers, please donate to one of these causes or plant some Bee Balm and MilkWeed for the beautiful and rare creatures that also fly free.
He is Gone, solid Gone… Tail lights and Smoke.