Patricia Anne (Paull) GreerJanuary 22, 1924 ~ December 10, 2017 (age 93)
Some called her mom, some friend, some Auntie Pat, some the coat lady or the Campbell’s label lady…she was all these things, but so much more. She was the mother of several including two who died too early to really know. Joel lived only three days, but she loved him as much as any mother can. She was the kind of person who made friends, good solid friends in all the places she lived: California, Montana, Kentucky, Washington, and Ohio, and even the many places she visited. She has been to all but one state, Alabama.
She leaves behind her children (including their spouses, whom she called her children-in-love) and one brother in law and his wife (Jim and Kay), and a number of grandchildren, great grandchildren, and a couple great, great grandchildren, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins (all of whom held special places in her heart). She has gone on to meet up with her Mother (Ada Watson Paull), her father (Forest S. Paull), her brother and his wife (Forest Jr. and Anne) and her sister and her husband (Barbara and Wayne Smith) ,her husband (John T. Greer) and their children who died in infancy, as well as many school mates, friends and other more distant family members.
She wasn’t just a mother, she was many different things in her journey: from a helper to a leader, and many things in between, sometimes paid, but mostly volunteer. As a young person she helped her father by answering the phone for his sign painting shop, and later helped him when he would buy houses to repair and resell (in the days before house flipping was a big thing). She found she had a heart for the Crow Indians and collected coats for them, a couple coats would cascade into several boxes full under her direction, so they dubbed her the coat lady. But, she also collected coats for local charities and was very involved with activities that helped those in need within the communities where she lived (Operation Happiness and free Thanksgiving meals in Winchester for example). Then she connected with Red Bird Mission and worked for almost two years as their Campbell’s label coordinator (unlike other volunteers in that position in the past, she treated it like a full time job, and as a result the mission was able to have enough cut labels sent in to get new vans, twice).
She had a generous heart and her children still recall her serving as a scout leader or as a room mother. She loved learning and teaching what she knew, especially history. Summer vacations saw her planning trips through different states to see various natural parks and historic places. She finished high school in southern California at the height of World War II. Her class was the only one that did not get to make the senior trip to Catalina Island. Many who graduated at that time found themselves in a crazy world where there were no guarantees for tomorrow. Some went off to war, some married, some went to work, and a few continued on to college. Patricia, was one of those who went to work. Of her early jobs, she enjoyed her job at Douglas Aircraft perhaps the best. She had access to secure buildings and got to ride a scooter around the area as she delivered mail. She was engaged to a beach loving soldier from Ventura (William Kendall Hofeus) who was injured in Italy and died several days later from his wounds. Because of her other job on the air force base, she met many flight teams who came to train in their new planes before they flew out to join their squadrons. Some she heard from again, some never returned. It was because of a crew that went missing in the Pacific that she met and eventually married her husband, John. He wrote to tell her that her friend had gone missing in action. She wrote back to thank him. They just kept writing. When he returned stateside he brought his little sister Emma Jean to meet her…and the rest, they say, is history.
They tied the knot at a little chapel overlooking the sea, and from that union came her three (now grown) children, and the abundance of love and inevitable heartaches that shape a family. Her children grew up knowing they were loved, encouraged to be all they aspired to be (if they applied themselves), and were expected to do their share. They had her generosity, her love of history, and her wisdom as models to live by. And they had her love. They learned at least that much from her, for they did love her in return, and that abundantly, even when she gradually shrank from being herself as she lived her final months with dementia. And now, she has travelled on, leaving behind the body she possessed and the love she inspired. We will meet with her again one day, and rejoice with the angels at our reunion.
St. Labre Indian School
Mission Road, Ashland MT 59003
St. Joseph Indian School
1301 N. Main Street, Chamberlain SD 57325
Red Bird Mission
70 Queendale Center, Beverly KY 40913-9607