J. Gregory Sager, 71, passed away on October 6, 2017. He was born in Akron, Ohio on May 6, 1946 to the late Rex and Evelyn Sager. He graduated from Copley High School and Barrington College, and earned a Masters in Theater Arts from Kent State University.
Greg was a puppeteer, writer, playwright, producer of videos for local organizations, and acted in local theater such as Shakespeare on the Terrace at Stan Hywet. His gentle humor infected everything he did.
While at Copley High, he met Dave Stone. Their mutual interest in puppetry led them to do puppet shows for children. Dave moved on to become a Summit County Sheriff’s deputy and part-time puppeteer.
Greg stayed true to his art. He worked in children’s programming at Channel 3, where he joked off-set with young weatherman Al Roker, and played second banana to Melinda Scott on "Mindy’s Summer Camp". On her studio show, "Mindy, Popeye and Friends", Greg and his puppets were the friends. If you remember that show, he was “The Expert”. He also acted and did technical work for the Magical Theater Company in Barberton, and the Illusion Factory with Bunny Balance.
In the 1990s, Greg and Lewis Jenkins formed Epiphany Productions and produced such classics as "Wild Thingdom", "Quest for the Holy Pail", and "Stupendous Person - Episode Three - The Blunder Years". In addition, Greg wrote and produced live performances for the Summit County Historical Society (and other historical societies) that drew much of their cast from an informal acting group called The Perkins Parlor Players.
He followed his theatrical star until Parkinson’s disease robbed him of an actor’s most necessary control over his voice and body, he also led an informal acting group called The Perkins Parlor Players, which did historical videos for the Summit County Historical Society.
J. Gregory is with Jesus and his family now, and telling stories, we are sure. We will miss him here, but he leaves us with our memories, and an unfortunately small body of good and funny work.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Luke's Church, 3810 Ridgewood Rd., Copley, OH 44321, across from Copley High School.
Greg will be laid to rest at Glendale Cemetery.