In Memory of




Obituary for Gregory Austin Mendis

Gregory Austin Mendis, 39, had it all. He was devoted, smart, funny, athletic, charismatic, and the center of his loving, supportive family. But even that wasn’t enough to overcome the decades-long battle Greg faced with the disease of addiction, and on Sunday, Nov. 19, Greg departed this world from what was likely a drug overdose, leaving a seismic hole in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.

A proud graduate of Thayer Academy and Union College, Greg was intellectually curious, and a gifted athlete and writer. But above his wit and wisdom, Greg will be remembered for his winsome personality. He had a welcoming smile that would “light up the room” as his grandmother would say. His warmth and charm had the ability to make anyone feel loved.

Despite his many accomplishments, the highlight of Greg’s life was Easter 2022, the day of his conversion to Catholicism. He embraced his connection with God with his whole heart, finding much peace and solace through his daily prayers and meditation. Greg was deeply connected with the Shalom Catholic Community and Agape Prayer Group, praising and worshiping whenever possible. He enjoyed visiting churches, taking road trips, and finding beauty in nature, putting scriptures to pictures he’d taken along the way.

Greg believed his time on this earth should be purpose-filled, so he poured his giving heart into helping the homeless, people struggling with addiction, and anyone in need.

Greg leaves behind a family who loved him deeply: His parents, Dr. Paul and Nancy Mendis, sisters Lisa and Tanya, brother-in-law Tony, and grandmothers Mary Alice Price and Eugenie Mendis. Greg had tremendous love for his nieces, Autumn and Lena Davenport, a love which was reciprocated by both girls who believed their Unky G was a magical man who could hang the moon. He also leaves behind a host of uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, as well as his entire recovery community. Finally, Greg’s memory will be a blessing to the love of his life, Gilda Rodrigues, who God brought to him one year ago, adding special meaning, purpose, and hope.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Burke & Blackington Funeral Home, 1479 Washington St., West Newton, MA. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 11 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 325 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA. Interment will immediately follow at Newton Cemetery & Arboretum.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Family Restored, an organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting families affected by addiction and people in recovery; and Morning Star Recovery, 12-step program for men rooted in Catholic Tradition based in Westbrook, Maine.