To our dearest customers,
We have the unbelievably sad news to share that the founder of The Done Dept., Greg Haupt, lost his battle with colorectal cancer on April 5, 2022.
In March of 2020, we received the devastating news that Greg had a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. The cancer had spread to his liver and lungs. At 38 years old, that was the last thing anyone would expect. The pandemic coincided at almost exactly the same time, so the illness, along with the uncertainty of the world, was a double hit to his family, the shop, and our work team.
Thanks to Dr. Tan at Siteman Cancer center, he immediately started aggressive treatments which helped a ton and gave him many, many good days and weeks to continue to live his best life with his wife and three young children. There were several ups and downs throughout the two years, which eventually led to a medical trial at a hospital in Minnesota in January. Against all our hopes and dreams, the trial was unsuccessful and there were no treatment options left. Greg returned home in early March to be with his family and friends in his final days.
It’s been two years since we have had our doors open to the public because of Covid-19. If you have ever been in the shop to work on a project with Greg, you probably have a story about him. His personality was boisterous, his curiosity was unmatched, and his enthusiasm was inspiring. And of course, he was freakin’ hilarious and loved a good hearted prank.
When I started working with Greg in July 2012, The Done Dept. was still fairly new. I think it was only about 5 years old. Greg started the print shop within the same building as his family’s company, Rotolite of St. Louis. His brother Mike worked on architectural printing, and still does. He was doing everything on his own as far as custom and creative print jobs go. But Greg needed some help. A story for another time, I met Greg and started working with him a few months later.
Greg and I were a great match right off the bat. He trusted me and we learned so much from each other. We shared ideas, got excited about new equipment, celebrated our successes, vented to each other about challenges, had the occasional disagreement of course, but all in all our partnership was solid. We shared a vision of how The Done Dept. could be unique and what we thought made us stand out compared to other companies. I could talk to him about anything, not just work. (But we loved talking about work!) He became an instant friend to me and together we built The Done Dept. to a growing team of folks helping countless businesses and individuals in St. Louis with their printing needs.
Once he was back home in March, I got to speak with him a bit. One thing he mentioned was how much he sincerely loved his job. He loved his work, he loved his customers, he loved the company his family owns and had an incredible amount of pride in what he did. I think anyone who met him even for a brief second could see that. He was incredibly happy and couldn’t have been in a better place in his life with his family, his work, his friends. His fabulous wife and kids were his pride and joy. This was just all so unlucky and unfair.
Not only was Greg an extraordinarily positive person, he had a huge sympathetic heart. He meant so much to so many people, and took on the pain and struggles any of his loved ones were going through, as well as being extremely excited and happy to celebrate the wins and life milestones of others. He was so special in that way.
In closing, I really don’t know what else to say. The Done Dept. has lost a big part of its heart. In the beginning we really felt helpless, but over time we adjusted to Greg only being able to work in small amounts when he could. It was tough. Now this is tougher, knowing he won’t be back to answer the phone “This is Greg!”– knowing he won’t randomly blast some metal music because it’s his mood – knowing we’ll never hear that loud belly laugh again or be entertained by his humor – knowing we’ve lost a great problem solver and creative mind that genuinely wanted to help make things easy for our customers.
He was more than his work; he was a partner to Megan and a father to three awesome kiddos. He was a super talented musician with accolades and tons of shows under his belt with several bands. But The Done Department was undoubtedly a huge part of his life. And he will always, always and forever be a huge part of ours. With all our might, as hard as some days may be, we will see that we carry on his dream.
Love, courage, and rock & roll,
-Cat McMillan, Print Wrangler