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Gregory Mark Hembree
March 15, 1954 (The "Ides of March" as he was fond of saying)- September 6, 2014

Go to this page to see more photos that are representative of Greg's life and our life together.

The photo just below on the ˂˂ left was taken early in the 1990's inside our first home, a townhouse in Centreville, VA.  We loved that "little blue house" once we recovered from "buyer sticker price shock" (the difference in cost comparable to a KC home.)


The photo below on the right ˃˃ was taken the day that Lee Manske (my son) and Jenny, his wife were wed. They were married on Sept. 5, 1993 inside the Bingham/Wagoner Estate located in Independence, Missouri.  It was a beautiful setting for a wedding and Jenny, his wife were wed. They were married on Sept. 5, 1993 inside the Bingham/Wagoner Estate located in Independence, Missouri. It was a beautiful settingfor a wedding.

Greg is a youthful looking 39 years old and Steven his son, is age 9.  Greg was always happy to spend whatever time he had with his son.  Not enough because we lived so far apart; we lived in Northern VA and Steven lived with his mother in Kansas.

Vienna Planning and Zoning Director Greg Hembree, who had served the town since 1987, died Sept. 6.


 (Photo by T.R. Cook)

The atmosphere at Town Hall during the Sept. 8 meeting was subdued. Signs citing “unforeseen circumstances” warned visitors that the Town Council was postponing consideration of all planning-related items until Sept. 22.  In his invocation, Rev. Craig Burns of Vienna Assembly of God honored Hembree’s service and consoled the crestfallen Council. “Don’t ask the ‘Why?’ questions,” Burns said. “Ask the ‘What’s next?’ questions. Even though you want the world to stop, it just keeps going.”

Council member Emil Attanasi knew Hembree from many years of serving on the town’s Planning Commission.“He was always reasonable, he allowed the citizens to participate, allowed the commissioners to formulate policies that reflected well on the town and he was just generally very professional in all of his activities,” Attanasi said. “He was very personable and easy to work with, very flexible and accommodating.”

Council member Edythe Kelleher said Hembree’s comportment and cooperativeness stacked up well compared with those of officials in some other jurisdictions.  “We’re going to miss him tremendously – miss him as a person and miss his institutional knowledge, his sense of commitment to his work and this town,” she said. “Greg always had a can-do attitude. He never looked for the easy reason to say no. He always looked for the reason to move forward, to do what was good and right for the town.”  Hembree also had a colorful personality, Kelleher said. “I’ll never forget his big cowboy hat, his fishermen’s sweaters,” she said.

Former Council member Laurie Cole called Hembree a “consummate professional.”  “For nearly 20 years, I relied on him in many ways, knowing he always had the best interests of Vienna as his primary objective,” Cole said. “It is hard to imagine Vienna without him.”


Hembree is survived by his wife, Marla, of Centreville; son Steven Hembree and wife Mary of Overland Park, Kan., son Quentin Manske and wife Karen of Prairie Village, Kan., son Lee Manske and wife Jennifer of Wichita, Kan., son Kurt Manske of Kansas City, Mo.; parents Will and Constance Hembree of Leawood, Kan.; two brothers, Jeffrey Hembree and wife Caroline of Leawood, Kan., and Bradley Hembree and wife Sonia of Lenexa, Kan.; and six grandchildren.

A visitation for Hembree will be held at Pierce Funeral Home in Manassas from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11. There also will be funeral services at Clifton Presbyterian Church at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12. Hembree will be buried in Kansas. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Salvation Army.

Just below is an excerpt from the meditation delivered by Reverend Dr. Lynn Stanton Hoyle at Greg's funeral service on September 12 at Clifton Presbyterian Church.   Pastor Lynn also traveled to the Midwest and delivered the same message at a Memorial S
ervice for Greg given at Overland Park Lutheran Church in Overland Park, Kansas on September 17th,   Thank you for conducting both services, Lynn.   After this service, Greg was buried at Mt. Sydney Cemetery in Lynwood, Kansas, a lovely country setting on a Kansas hillside west of Overland Park.

Vienna officials mourn death of town’s planning, zoning director      


by BRIAN TROMPETER, Staff Writer: INSIDENOVA.COM: Northern VA- Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William. News, events, sports, obituaries.


Greg Hembree never got to place the capstone on his career as Vienna’s planning and zoning director.  Hembree labored for years on the proposed Maple Avenue Commercial zone, a detailed plan that would grant developers more building density in exchange for mixed-use projects. The Vienna Town Council was scheduled to vote on the new zone Sept. 8, but Mayor Laurie DiRocco announced at the meeting’s start that Hembree had died Sept. 6.


 Hembree, 60, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Centreville, said his wife of 27 years, Marla Hembree.  “His health had deteriorated,” she said. “He thought he had colitis and worried about other possibilities. He wasn’t used to being sick. He became increasingly concerned that he would not be able to perform his job".

  Council members fondly recalled Hembree’s wit, forthright manner and encyclopedic knowledge of Vienna’s zoning code and land-use cases that occurred during his 27-year career with the town. Hembree faithfully served Vienna and could quote town code chapter and verse, DiRocco said. “Greg was a professional,” she said. “He had an unbelievable institutional memory. I mean, he would pick out facts from 1987 forward and know them like they happened yesterday. He has been a teacher to us, as well as a great town employee.”


  Hembree always gave straight answers and never struck a defensive tone with Council members, even when fielding pointed questions. He had a droll sense of humor and was generous with laughter at others’ attempts at levity. Hembree could explain abstruse zoning concepts in plain English and would not bat away questions except when they involved policy decisions not under his purview. He provided information and context to make news stories more fair and accurate, and showed patience and restraint when journalists, residents and new Council members made no-brainer inquiries.  

Born in Kansas City, Mo., Hembree adhered to the view that tomato – not vinegar– was the proper base for barbecue sauce. According to his LinkedIn profile, he spoke Spanish and held a master’s degree in geography and urban planning from the University of Kansas. He belonged to Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, his wife said. Hembree joined the town of Vienna’s staff in October 1987. While not slowing down with his projects, he made no secret he planned to retire in a few years.