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Gregory Paul Siemens

It is with great sorrow that we share the news that Gregory Paul Siemens passed away on December 9th, 2023, just a week short of his 75th birthday. 

Greg was born in Vancouver WA and while growing up spent time in Spokane, Walla Walla, and Seattle. Not to forget a couple of years in the Philippines, where he attended the University of the Philippines.

Upon returning to Seattle, he enrolled in the University of Washington (UW). Here he studied painting and drawing. In 1972 he earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. He had a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago, but only stayed a little while before returning to Seattle. After that Greg enrolled in the University of Iowa because a well know painter was currently teaching there. He didn’t think teaching art was what he wanted to do and soon returned to Seattle.

Shortly after returning to Seattle, he started W R (Work Release) painting with his friend John Horn. They worked together for decades, painting and repairing old Seattle houses. Greg also taught himself how to make furniture and cabinets. His sister Carol and husband Ev have beautiful cherry wood kitchen cabinets made by Greg as does his brother David and wife Maggie. He also made kitchen cabinets for our house and neighbors. Not forgetting the many storm windows, he made for Wallingford houses. 

In addition, Greg and John took care of the Murphy Building in Ballard for many years. When called upon to do so, Greg stepped in to manage and maintain the building. Singlehandedly he took on two major remodeling projects at the Murphy Building: the second floor and the mezzanine. With his attention to detail and hard work, both projects turned out well. Along the way he developed friendships with many tenants in the building. They built a strong community over the years. That says a lot! 

Greg hiked and backpacked the Cascade and Olympic trails, and the destinations were usually a lake where he could fish. He was very fond of fishing. 

Volleyball was another favorite activity of Greg’s. He spent many Sundays playing volleyball in the park with friends. He also played on a men’s volleyball team that traveled around the state to play.

Greg also enjoyed gardening and growing plants. After he converted the double carport into a greenhouse, he grew exotic plants of which he sold many to local nurseries. 

Greg is survived by his wife Marianne, sister Carol and her husband Ev, brother David and his wife Maggie, sister Barbara and husband Ed, and many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents Ivan and Elaine Siemens and sister Jeanne.

We hold Greg in our hearts as we remember his humor, kindness, and generosity. We miss him terribly.


You left us way too soon, my friend. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for exotic plants and fostering my appreciation for these plants. I am grateful for your generosity in sharing the plants that you were successful in growing. You taught me how to create a garden space that was entertaining and pleasing to the eye, and to leave the "weeds" for mulch.
I will miss your sense of humor and kind approach to people and plants.

Terry Cook

I’m still shocked by Greg’s passing.
The photos are a reminder of how quickly time has passed.

John Horn

What a sad day. A kind soul and a gentle man who was my building manager for almost 20 years many fond memories of hand delivering my rent check and shooting the breeze on the porch sharing stories and walking the yard. Godspeed friend

Curt Webb

Greg was my painting studio partner at the University of Iowa. Good memories. He lived a good life. RIP.

Annie Scheumbauer

Greg was frank, but kind. His approach to his work was scholarly and inspired. He will be missed.

Carol Tensen nee Stelmack

I am so sad to learn the news about Greg's passing through a conversation I had with Bowie Electric a few weeks ago. I lived in the Murphy Building from the early to mid-nineties, when "the boys" (as the elder Taylor Bowie called them) were often working on projects around the building. I fondly remember having many spontaneous conversations with Greg and John that ranged from the silly to the thoughtful. Greg and I had both had attended the UW School of Art a few years apart, and it was fun to compare notes on professors we loved or reviled. I remember him telling me he had painted several houses of the professors there- one being the wonderful Jacob Lawrence- and while working there how he went into his basement to find it stacked with artwork- an image that has stayed with me over the years. It was always enjoyable being around Greg and his (slightly acidic) sense of humor. He always spoke so lovingly of his partner Marianne. He was really an artist at heart, and it was obvious by the beautiful work he did renovating the apartments I ended up being lucky enough to live in. He was one of those people that made the world a better place just by being in it. My deepest condolences to his friends and family.

Kory Olson

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