The son of Percival Porcher Gregg and Constance Ashby Gregg, he graduated from Florence High School in 1934 and worked for the Home Owners Loan Corporation in Washington, D.C. before attending North Carolina State University.
In 1940, he graduated with honors and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering while at the same time earning his second lieutenant’s commission in the United States Army Reserves.
In May 1941, he was called to active duty and served in the Constructing Quartermaster Corps and Army Reserves.
Retiring in 1962 with the rank of Lt. Colonel - Corps of Engineers, he spent the following six years working for the Seaboard Airline Railway Company.
In 1955, he joined the Norfolk firm of John. M Baldwin and Associates Civil Engineers and Surveyors. Co-founding the partnership of Baldwin and Gregg Ltd. several years later, he served as its president until his retirement in 1981. While president, he graduated from the advanced management Program at Harvard Business School.
At the age of 71, he obtained his real estate license in the commercial division of William E. Wood & Associates receiving the top salesman award in the Tidewater area in 1987.
In 1989, he received his broker’s license and formed the firm Porcher Gregg Realty, Inc., registered in most states in the southern region to develop and sell real estate.
Shay was a former vestryman of Galilee Episcopal Church of Virginia Beach, a member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church of Boca Grande, Fla., and Christ Episcopal Church in Quinby, S.C. He twice served on the board of the Princess Anne Country Club and was a founding member and chairman of th building committee at Cape Henry Collegiate School.
He was a fellow and life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, founder and president of the Southeastern Association of Land Surveyors and one of the founders of the National Society of Professional Land Surveyors. He was president of the Professional Engineers in Private Practice. In 1974, he received the Engineer of the Year Award from the Tidewater chapter of the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers. He also received numerous awards from the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping and was a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering fraternity.
Shay was an avid golfer and hunter. In his late eighties, until two months ago, he spent most of his leisure time as an enthusiastic gardener, gin rummy player and wood worker. With passion about South Carolina history and his own heritage, he had made great strides in writing his own memoirs and was looking forward to finishing them when he retired.
He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Constance Weiser, Daughter Janet Porcher Gregg of Charleston, S.C. and son Percival Porcher Gregg III of Virginia Beach. Shay and Connie recently moved their permanent residence from Virginia Beach to Boca Grande. He was an exceptionally devoted husband, father and mentor for his children. His friendships were numerous and permanent.
A memorial service will be held in Boca Grande at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, personal memorials may be made to the Boca Grande Health Clinic Foundation or to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.
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