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RIP Greg Cheek: “One of Us”

May 25, 2016

"Miss and love ya! Greg was a good friend, a loving father, a talented surfer, painter, and had a heart of gold. My husband battled mental health issues and as we all know Texas cut the budget for mental health a huge amount."

Topics:   Competency, Custody Death, Disability, Medical, Mental Health, Pretrial Policy, Suicide

Nueces County

By Greg’s wife and the mother of his little girl

Greg Cheek

“Miss and love ya! Greg was a good friend, a loving father, a talented surfer, painter, and had a heart of gold. My husband battled mental health issues and as we all know Texas cut the budget for mental health [a huge amount] a few years back. Even though we had proof for years and years that Greg needed mental help and should have been awarded disability, he wasn’t approved till a month before his death and he never received his first check because he was incarcerated at the time.

Imagine how different our married life and our daughter life could have been with that help over the years!

He was off his medication when the vandalism performed by him was done and even though all the signs pointed to him needing help, he never got it. He died cold, alone. and crying in a cell by himself.

The system needs some serious change and a need to develop a system for those with health concerns and mental issues. Especially with extensive history and documented proof they need that special attention. This is an outrage and now a child has no father because of the carelessness of this county jail.

THANKS A LOT, Texas Jail Project!”

*Intro by the writer: I am the widow of Greg Cheek, and though we were going through a separation period at the time of his death, he never wanted to let go of me and refused to talk divorce–lol. We would have found a way back to each other had we had the chance. It was inevitable.

Texas Jail Project: Greg had amazing friends that stood by him, watched over him and supported him through thick and thin. All you guys should be proud of your loyal friendship you solidified over many years. Here are some of his friends’ comments:

Greg’s friend, photographer Jon Steele said:
Greg Cheek passed away Feb. 6th in a jail cell in the Corpus Christi vicinity…..
His story is long and complicated…. he was simple, loving and ripped at surfing and skating….
We had some great times.

Julian Caceres from Greg Cheek Memorial Page on FB:
Greg, we first crossed paths surfing Surfside pier in our mid teens, I clearly remember surfing Nth side with you, from then on we cross paths several more times in Mexico, So Cal and Texas, before we actually started hanging out. Two surfers thinking alike. It was awesome to share stories about life and where we’re at and where we’re going. Almost 15yrs later and he was still top of my list when I came home to Texas. A humble soul and a mind always racing. I would like to think your mind is till dreaming and the dark dreams have left you alone. Your soul will always dance in the lineup with us. As for the Down Town Julie Brown, he was the best one liner and always good for a laugh! Greg had an eye for finding the barrel and good friends. Greg you’re a person that will never be for gotten! My heart goes out to you, your daughter and you’re Family. I know you had some dreams and I would like to think I can help keep them alive! Your Bad Ass Greg-O!!!!!!

Awesome tribute from Greg’s friend, July 31, 2012:

I knew Gregory from 2002 to 2003. I was 33 at the time. I was depressed and on drugs. He helped me clean up and he was a true friend. There was not a mean bone in his body. Because of him I stopped doing drugs, saw a counselor, and joined the Army. I did two tours in Iraq. I worked out really hard, ran three full marathons, became a Sergeant in the Army, counseled soldiers on drug abuse, and met a wonderful man that I married. I remember visiting him at his parents home after I joined the Army. He was watching videos of himself surfing. It was cool.

Now, I am a senior at Cal State, studying social work. I am going to work with teenagers that have mental issues. Plus, me and my husband are adopting two teenage boys. We have grown children of our own. It is because of Gregory that I changed. I deal with my bi polar illness in the right way. I am so sorry that his parents, wife, daughter, and friends are going through this loss. Thank you, Gregory. You made a huge impact on my life. I hope I can pay my respects by doing some good deeds in your name, buddy.

[This page originally posted January 2011. To read more about Greg’s incarceration and death in Nueces county jail please see Texas Tribune article Nueces County Jail Facing Lawsuit Over 2011 Death.]

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