Reg's parents, Robert Michael Gorey and Ellen Maud nee Montgomery, lived at Mallala, South Australia but his mother returned to her old home in Aberdeen, Burra for the birth of her first child, Reginald Eric, because her mother was a midwife with a lying-in home in the town. Soon after the birth, they returned to their own home at Mallala where they had a greengrocery store. After some years and three more children, all born at Mallala (Ivor Raymond, Myra Ellen and Elva Maud), the family moved to the city at Prospect. The kids walked to school at Nailsworth, where, incidentally, the Friths and Leadbeaters also attended. Reg was apparently a pretty smart student. On completion of his primary education he was placed second in the school.
He briefly attended Adelaide High School before taking a clerical position in the office of the stock agents, Hogarth and Edwards, by whom his father was employed as head stockman. Reg used to attend stock auctions at the abattoirs to record the details of his firm's sales. He eventually rose to the position of manager of the stock department of Dalgety's which had absorbed Richardson, Kemp, Hogarth and Edwards.
In his youth, Reg was a keen sportsman, playing parklands cricket as a batsman and wicket keeper. In later life he often reminisced about those cricketing days, showing his hands which had been distorted by taking many-a-catch behind the stumps. He was also a member of the Lefevre tennis club where his future wife, Ada Frith, and her siblings also played. Other life-long friends also played for the club. Reg enjoyed badminton as well.
During the Second World War, Reg joined the Royal Australian Airforce and was transferred to Geelong as a paymaster. This was another source of anecdotes throughout his life.
A few years after their marriage, Reg and Ada were delighted when their son, Ron, was born. Unfortunately, a few months later they discovered that he was handicapped by cerebral palsy. Both Ada and Reg devoted their lives to Ron's care, ensuring that he enjoyed himself as best his handicap would allow. They were able to take a number of local and overseas holidays, Queensland being a particular favourite of Ron's. Reg shared an interest in flying with his son who was a real enthusiast. They also shared an interest in cricket, especially the test matches played on Adelaide Oval.
Following the death of Ada's father, her mother and sister had come to live with them at Plympton. Many years later, after Ron's death, Ada became ill, so her sister Beryl looked after her and Reg. When Ada died, Beryl continued to care for Reg, who lived a very quiet life at home. He particularly enjoyed watching televised sport, reading, and doing word puzzles of all kinds. Even after his loss of memory these word puzzles remained foremost in his mind.
For a number of years, Reg Gorey had wanted to reach the milestone of age 100 years. His great-grandfather, Samson Montgomery had died at the age of 99 and a half and Reg wanted to beat that family record. Whilst at the nursing home, although he hadn't actually made it, he insisted that he had reached his goal and the staff obligingly arranged a celebratory party for him which he enjoyed enormously.Reg was buried at the Nailsworth North Road Anglican Cemetery.