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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home
101 Gerkin
Gregory, SD 57533
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Memories & Candles

“I remember John and Ellen from childhood, since they lived next door to my grandparents (Bateson and Thora Kimball). I have fond memories of seeing...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: David McKenzie - Salina, KS

“My deepest condolences to Roger, Rodney and Cheryl and families. John was a dear family friend who always had a smile on his face and genuinely...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Ron Nikodym - Shawnee, KS

“John has been an incredible friend and mentor over the years. His giving spirit and loving heart have been an inspiration. His dedication to the...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Steve Ziebarth - Canton, SD

“Uncle John was a wonderful man. God speed Uncle John. Stopped to see him last year in the home along with Rodney. Had a wonderful chat with him,...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Doug & Karen Greer - AZ - Nephew

“John and Ellen were our neighbors in Gregory for 25 years. What wonderful neighbors--so kind and so helpful. Numerous times he helped us fix...Read More »
5 of 5 | Posted by: Diane Shomion - Brandon, SD


John Louis Greer was born on May 13, 1922 to John and Jenny (Orr) Greer. He was the eighth of nine children born to this union. John grew up and attended Ryan school west of Lucas, SD, eventually graduating from Lucas High School where he was involved in the Lucas school choir. He attended the Lucas Baptist Church where he was baptized.

Following high school, John operated a small farm in the Lucas area before marrying his high school sweetheart, Lora "Ellen" Nelson on April 10, 1944. John and Ellen continued to live on this farm for a few years where they eventually had three children – Cheryl, Rodney and Roger. John and Ellen moved numerous times around the Dallas and Dixon area, operating small farms before settling in Gregory, SD in 1962. After arriving in Gregory, John opened two gas station/auto repair shops.

In his free time, John was very active in the United Methodist Church of Gregory, participating in numerous Bible study and men's groups. John was elected United Methodist Layman of the Year in 1987 for his work in fellowship and evangelism within the Methodist Church.

After retiring John remained active in the church and Gregory community by mowing lawns (including the Methodist Church) and assisting his longtime friend Emmett Kotrba. John and Ellen were sextants of the I.O.O.F. Cemetery for twenty-five years. On his days off he could be found watching old westerns and eating homemade popcorn. John also enjoyed spending time with Ellen making road trips to visit grandkids and occasionally fishing for catfish and largemouth bass.

When Ellen entered the Gregory nursing home John would lovingly be there three times a day for her. On one of these visits he fell while leaving and as a result of immobility he spent his remaining years in the Avera Rosebud Country Care Center, passing away on October 9, 2015 at 93 years of age.

John is preceded in death by his parents John and Jenny, one sister Alta Mae at age 16, four older brothers Ross, Wesley, Gregory (Ted), and Elbert (Gofe), and two infant brothers Donald and Joseph, and his wife Ellen of sixty-nine years.

John is survived by one sister Hope of Redding, CA; three children Cheryl (Dick) Richey of Alamogordo, NM, Rodney Greer of Gregory, SD, and Roger (Julie) Greer of Rapid City, SD. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Mitch, Lindsey, Jacey, Mark, Michael, and Eric, and by fifteen great-grandchildren.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Funeral services for John Greer of Gregory were held Thursday October 15, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Gregory with Pastor Royal Archer officiating.

Music was provided by Bob Wik, soloist, singing "On the Wings of a Snow White Dove," "How Great Thou Art," and "Going Home" accompanied by Bette Fogel, pianist. Congregational song was "Amazing Grace: My Chains are Gone."

Nancy Wik was in charge of registration.

Casket Bearers were Mitchell Greer, Lindsey Greer, Jacey Greer, Wes Schell, David Chocholousek, and Dennis Purvis.

Interment was in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Gregory, SD.