Obituary Listings

HOLLY STAIR GREER

May 28, 2018
HOLLY STAIR GREER
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Obituary for HOLLY STAIR GREER

Holly Stair Greer – community leader, friend, teacher, executive director, council member, mayor, advocate for women’s rights, wife, mother, and grandmother died May 28, 2018, shortly before her 87th birthday, in the presence of her family and her beloved dog, Bear, and in the comfort of Lake Superior Hospice and the staff of Mill Creek Senior Living Community. She will be missed by her family, her friends, her church and her community.

Holly was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 10, 1931, to Helen (Caulsen) and Henry Bowen Stair. She was raised in Highland Park, Illinois and graduated from Highland Park High School before graduating from Smith College in Massachusetts in 1953. While attending Smith, Holly met and fell in love with Bill Greer (William J. Greer, II) who was attending nearby Amherst College. They married on July 9, 1955, and moved to New York City where Bill was completing seminary. In 1958, Bill and Holly moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where Bill had been called to serve as an assistant minister to the Dean of St. Mark’s Cathedral. In 1965, Bill and Holly moved to Marquette where Bill served as Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church until he and Holly moved to Cortland, New York in 1981.

During her initial stint in Marquette and while raising four children (Bill, John, Peter and Cathy), Holly obtained her M.A. degree in history from Northern Michigan University, taught in the Humanities Department at NMU, was one of the founders of the Women’s Center, and served as the Executive Director of the Women’s Center from 1973 until 1980. Holly became inspired to run for the Marquette City Commission after organizing and advocating for what would become Marquette’s first bike path which now bears her name along Marquette’s lake shore. She was elected and served as Marquette’s first female city commissioner from 1972 until 1978 and served as Marquette’s first woman mayor from 1975 until 1978.

In 1981, Holly and Bill moved to Cortland, New York where Bill had been called to be Rector of Grace Episcopal Church. Holly became the Executive Director of the Cortland YWCA and served in that role until her retirement in 1993. After Bill’s death in 1998, Holly remained an active member of the Cortland community until she moved back to Marquette in 2012 to be closer to her daughter, Cathy Greer Cole, and the Cole family.

Holly’s life was marked by a commitment to equality for all people, especially advocating for equal rights for women, and to making the communities in which she lived better and more just places for all community members. This commitment was grounded in and shaped by her Christian faith. In addition to being an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Marquette and Grace Episcopal Church in Cortland, Holly served in leadership roles in numerous community and civic organizations including the Michigan Municipal League, the League of Women’s Voters, Marquette Youth Services, the American Association of University Women, the Alger County Commission on Aging, the Marquette Beautification and Restoration Committee, the Cortland City Planning Board, the Board of Trustees of Tompkins Community College, Zonta International, Cortland Caring Community Hospice, Loaves and Fishes, the Council of Churches, the Elizabeth Brewster House, the Fortnightly Club, the Century Club, and other organizations.

Holly was preceded in death by her parents Helen and Bowen Stair, her husband Bill Greer, her son Peter Greer, granddaughter, Abby Greer and her sister, Cathy Snyder. She is survived by her children Bill Greer and his wife Margie, of Canandaigua, New York, John Greer and his wife Lois of Boulder, Colorado, and Cathy Greer Cole and her husband Fred Cole, of Marquette; as well as seven grandchildren. Holly is also survived by her sister Peggy Anderson of Tucson, Arizona. She has left them with great memories, lots of love, and a heritage of the wisdom of her character – an inquiring mind, a strong drive to do the task well, and vision to see what can be.

A memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Ridge St. in Marquette on June 30, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. with visiting hours and refreshments from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the church. The service will be presided by Rev. Margaret Babcock, Holly’s niece. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Holly’s honor to:

The Women’s Center of Marquette
245 Baraga Street
Marquette, MI 49855
-or-
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
201 E. Ridge Street
Marquette, MI 49855
-or-
Lake Superior Hospice
914 W. Baraga Ave.
Marquette, MI 49855

The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home of Marquette is serving the Greer family where memories may be shared at canalefuneral.com.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

30

Jun

10:00 AM 6/30/2018 10:00:00 AM - 12:00 PM 6/30/2018 12:00:00 PM
St. Paul's Episcopal Church

201 E. Ridge St.
Marquette, MI 49855

St. Paul's Episcopal Church
201 E. Ridge St. Marquette 49855 MI
United States

Memorial Service

Saturday

30

Jun

12:00 PM 6/30/2018 12:00:00 PM
St. Paul's Episcopal Church

201 E. Ridge St.
Marquette, MI 49855

St. Paul's Episcopal Church
201 E. Ridge St. Marquette 49855 MI
United States

Memorial Contribution

The Women's Center of Marquette

245 Baraga Street
Marquette, Michigan 49855

St. Paul's Episcopal Church

201 E. Ridge Street
Marquette, Michigan 49855

Lake Superior Hospice

914 W. Baraga Avenue
Marquette, Michigan 49855
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