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Griffin Chapel

US Navy


James Greer

February 24, 1924 ~ September 8, 2018 (age 94)

Jim Greer passed into the presence of Jesus at 3 AM, Saturday, September 8 at the Pittsboro Christian Village, Pittsboro, NC.  Jim was born in Donora, PA on February 24, 1924 and raised in East Rochester, NY by his parents, John and Isabella Greer.  He joins his beloved wife, Thelma, who went to be with Jesus on September 14, 2016.  He is also predeceased by his older brother, Harry.  He is the father of Sharon Forrest (Doug), Thomas Greer (Wendy), Mary Ann Oglesby (Dan), John Greer (Karen), and James Greer (Marilynn).  He was “Grandpa” to 13 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.

As a young Navy seaman, he was trained in Norman, OK before being assigned to Pensacola, FL where he met his Floridian wife, Thelma Barfield.  Following his duty with the Navy, he returned to Rochester, NY with his young wife where they raised their family of 5 children.  He rose to the position of plant layout engineer while working with General Dynamics, Stromberg-Carlson, and Taylor Instruments.

While bouncing his children and grandchildren on his knee, Jim would attach a rhyming phrase to each child and grandchild.  Though sometimes the rhymes irritated the children, we all wear those rhymes with a badge of honor today.

Jim put his homebuilding and drafting experiences together to design and build a “retirement home” on Keuka Lake.  Retirement took Jim and Thelma to Graceville, FL (Thelma’s hometown) where Jim designed and supervised the building of another “retirement home”.

Throughout life, Jim had some beautiful cars—the deep red 1949 Mercury, the red Chevy convertible, and the two Cadillacs.

Jim was behind the obtaining of many of the family dogs.  He first brought two dogs home (Brownie and Laddie) because he couldn’t leave one behind.  Then there was Duchess, the Boxer.  When Jim and Thelma became grandparents, the next dog became Gigi named for Grandpa Greer and Grandma Greer.  Kelly, a beautiful Irish red setter who romped the Keuka Lake 9-acres, was the last.  Last week, he asked for a pet and the staff brought a little chihuahua for him to pet and cuddle.

Jim had an impish personality.  If Thelma told him he couldn’t eat another desert, that second desert was eaten as soon as her back was turned.  Or, you might be playing a board game and find his marker suddenly had been moved additional spaces.  Even his caregivers reported his mischievous activities as they cared for him.

When Jim’s caretakers came to assist him in his last days, Jim would point to Heaven and wave “goodbye”.  And, as some of his grandkids left him for the last time, they said “See you later”—the hope we all have as  followers of Jesus Christ—and we will see him again in Heaven.  Jim responded by writing “Alligator”.

From children to grandchildren to in-laws, Jim will always be described in terms of “fun” and deeply loved.  And we are all standing here pointing to Heaven and waving “See you later, alligator”.

The family will receive friends Tuesday, September 11, 2018 from 1PM to 2PM at Donaldson Funeral Home & Cremation Griffin Chapel. The funeral service will follow at 2PM with Gerald Baker presiding. Burial will follow at Chatham Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in his memory to Pittsboro Christian Village 1825 East Street Pittsboro, NC 27312.

Condolences may be made at

Donaldson Funeral Home & Cremation is honored to serve the Greer family.

Donations may be made to:

Pittsboro Christian Village
1825 East St., Pittsboro NC 27312

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