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Gregory Marc Byndrian was born September 21, 1945, in Highland Park General Hospital His parents were Souren and Louise (Melekian), Greg’s maternal grandparents, Armen and Azniv Melekian, were Armenian immigrants who fled the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians and arrived in the USA in 1920 with baby Louise. Greg received his education and graduated from Highland Park High School with highest honors. While in 8th grade, Greg mentioned to his teacher that he liked to sit in front of the TV, with the volume turned down, and call sports play-by-play. The teacher had Greg tape record, a play-by-play, of a student-faculty football game, which he forwarded to the high school’s student-operated federally licensed FM radio station director. Upon entering high school as a freshman, Greg immediately became part of the broadcast team, which launched his 49 consecutive years in sports announcing. During his HPHS radio career, as Sports Editor, Greg was also a French language newscaster. He received commendations for his sportscasting work and local election broadcasts and was awarded the Guild Pin for “Four Years of Excellent Sportscasting and Writing” and Foreign-language Achievement in French, Spanish, and German; notably he was awarded the Gold Medallion from the Consul General of France. Meanwhile, in his academic studies, he earned his Certificate of Merit for Mathematics and made the National Honor Society Honor Roll for six semesters.
He attended Highland Park Community College and the University of Denver, where he excelled as a straight “A” student inducted into Phi Sigma Iota before entering Wayne State University. He graduated from WSU’s Centennial Class with high distinction, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication. While in college, Greg continued his involvement in sports broadcasting while advising and training student announcers and engineers. Three months after his graduation, getting his Teaching Certificate, he applied and was quickly accepted to be the Program Director/Teacher of WHPR radio. That began a 40-year career with the Highland Park School District – eleven years at WHPR and 29 years as a Public Information Officer for the District. He retired in 2008 but continued as a trainer, volunteer advisor, and planning committee member.
Greg has an enviable history of awards and accomplishments. He was elected seven times as President of the new Michigan Education Broadcasters and was awarded MAEB Person of the Year. State Senator Martha G. Scott inducted him into the HP Hall of Fame. His sports announcing career was the focus of a Detroit News feature article. In 4 decades of giving back to the community and the school system, Greg’s most fulfilling and rewarding memories are his involvement with young people, from sports to scholarships.
Greg’s other personal interests were varied. He enjoyed maps, travel books, trains, sports, rock and classical music, and national and world affairs. He travelled to Brazil, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Chile, Paris, Munich, Frankfurt, and London. Greg vacationed with his mother and brother, Armen, to Colorado Springs, the Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin, Twin Cities, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, New England, Montreal, and Quebec City. With his Mom, he enjoyed automobile trips to Chicago and train travels to New York. Greg and Armen took a 27-day Bicentennial Trip 1976 to Mt. Rushmore, the Cascades, Seatle, Vancouver, Oregon, the Sierras, Lake Tahoe, and Salt Lake City. Greg also took many solo trips through the Midwest, the Western states, Canada, and the East Coast. Never forgetting the many he “big brothered”, Greg traveled many miles to always visit them, or to support them playing in their sports games. In all those travels, Greg saw forty-four states!!
Through a long and richly fulfilling life, Greg overcame serious illnesses. The debilitating diseases subjected him to major and minor surgeries. Greg used his remarkably resilient comebacks as a lesson to young people. It even more motivated him to mentor, inspire, and encourage them. They loved and respected him. Meeting him through baseball, Greg twice was Bestman at the weddings of Carmichael Gully and Edward Cyrs – esteemed friend, Dennis Rogers, became his dentist. Greg treasured son Aristotle Wilson, Godson Ken Griffith, Cleveland Everhart, and Ambrose Hood. Greg followed Aristotle’s career through HPCHS through graduation at the University of Toledo. He was seated in the front pew seat at his marriage to DeLise Culp in Cleveland. They later honored Greg as Grandpa to Aristotle II, Tristan, and Sincere. Never married, Greg still enjoyed the Blessings of being a proud mentor, and being called “Pops”, “God Popz” and “Grandpa”.
The loss of his Mom after five weeks of medical crises and nearly a decade of health problems saddened him. It required Greg to channel his grief into grateful reflection. He took comfort in fond memories of her and the majesty of her endless loving and nurturing nature which guided Greg through difficult childhood and teen-age periods. That enabled him to ground his efforts into academics and foundations of success.
Greg’s beloved mother, the late Louise and his stepfather, the late Hrant Melikian; Greg was predeceased by grandfather and grandmother, Armen & Azniv Melekian; uncle Charles & JoAnn Melekian; cousins Charles, Jr., Suzanne, Michael, Gregory, Joseph Melekian; and their families; Honored Son Aristotle and DeLise Wilson & family, Godson Kenneth Griffith; and other relatives and close friends.
Visiting will occur on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm in Armenian Congregational Church, 26210 W. 12 Mile Road (E of Northwestern Hwy), Southfield, MI 48034.
Funeral Service at 12:30 pm with Interment to follow in Woodlawn Cemetery, Detroit.
The family suggests that Memorial Donations in his memory be sent to the Armenian Congregational Church
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Please deliver all flowers directly to the church on Wednesday by 10:00 am