Carol J. Greer, age 87, of Wilmington, Delaware, passed away peacefully at Shipley Living in the presence of family on Tuesday, September 5, 2023.
Born Carol Jeannette Anderson in Somerville, Massachusetts on June 15, 1936 she was the daughter of the late Carl O. and Alice J. (Belyea) Anderson. Carol was raised in Somerville graduating with honors from Somerville High School in 1953, known in her yearbook for singing in the choir and glee club, running the entertainment club, and was considered “a wonderful girl who possesses beauty and brains.” In 1956 at age 20, she obtained her Registered Nurse certification from Somerville Hospital School of Nursing, and in 1957 she relocated to Indiana to work in the Indiana University School of Medicine where she met her first husband, Robert L. Smith, MD.
Carol and Robert (Bob) married in Fort Wayne, Indiana in December 1958, then moved to various Naval bases in Florida and South Carolina while Bob obtained his medical doctor degree and completed military service. In 1964 and three children later, they moved to Newark, Delaware to raise their young family while he entered a private medical practice. By 1969, their family had grown to five children – Sherry, Debbie, Bob, Tim and Randy. In 1979 following a divorce, she moved to Wilmington, Delaware with her two younger sons where she resumed her career as a registered nurse, working at St. Francis Hospital from 1979 until her retirement in 1999.
Carol had remarried in June 1985 to F. Thomas Greer, whom she had met at her church, Immanuel Highlands Episcopal Church, a church she loved very deeply. After Tom’s passing in 2017 which followed his long-term illness, she continued to live independently in her home in Wilmington until moving to Shipley Living in 2018, where she received compassionate and gentle care until her passing.
She was a devout Christian and actively involved with the Episcopal churches she belonged to over the years, doing a great deal of volunteer work in Outreach programs and activities, plus enjoying bible study. For over 25 years, she served meals to the homeless at Emmanuel Dining Room for the Ministry of Caring in Wilmington, receiving an award for dedicated service in 2010. Carol focused her charitable efforts in support of improving lives of Native Americans, especially knitting hats for the Lakota (Sioux) children of the St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota. In the political world, she actively volunteered for the Delaware Republican State Committee and the League of Women Voters in the 1970s. The highlight of her many accomplishments with the RSC was serving as a delegate in the 1976 presidential convention in Kansas City, which included meeting and spending time with President Gerald Ford. She was also an active member of several civic organizations over the years, receiving awards for dedicated service.
The loves of Carol’s life were her many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, always wanting to spoil them in some way, especially during birthdays and holidays. She also loved the many cats she cared for over the years, especially Smokey and Midnight, her companions after becoming a widow. Her other main interests included reading, knitting, piano and singing, traveling, music, New York City trips to see Broadway shows with her girlfriends, laughing at Jimmy Fallon, beach trips with her kids, writing letters and journaling, and enjoying the company of her family and her many friends. Her primary inspirations in life came from leaders such as Rev. Billy Graham, Ben Carson, MD, Rev. Victor Kusik and Delaware Governors Russell W. Peterson and Pete duPont.
In addition to her parents, Carol was preceded in death by her half-brother, Frederick “Hillie” Steeves, husband F. Thomas Greer and former husband Robert L. Smith. She is survived by her sister Judith (Anderson) Ditomassi of Boston, MA; children Sherry A. Ryan (Jack J.) of Southbury, CT, Deborah J. Andrews (Ben A.) of San Jose, CA, Robert S. Smith (Donna M.) of Lewes, DE, Timothy A. Smith (Amy N.) of Troy, MI, and Randall K. Smith (Rachael B.) of Millsboro, DE; fifteen grandchildren, Chris Lee, Ryan Lee, John Ryan, Matthew Ryan, Nicholas Ryan, Michael Ryan, Skyler Andrews, Erica English (Smith), Kevin Smith, Kelly Levin (Smith), Tyler Smith, Abigail Smith, Andrew Smith, Joshua Smith and Emerson Smith; four great-grandchildren, Carson English, Kyren English, Olivia Smith, and Sophia Lee.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend visitation services on Monday September 11, 2023 from 9:30am to 10:30am at Immanuel Highlands Episcopal Church, 2400 W. 17th Street, Wilmington DE 19806, followed by funeral services from 10:30am to 11:30am. Interment and reception will be private. The family encourages everyone to wear bright and cheery attire to celebrate Carol’s life.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Carol’s memory to St. Joseph’s Indian School, P.O. Box 100, Chamberlain, SD 57325 or online at www.stjo.org/flowers.
To leave online condolences, visit: www.delawarefuneral.com
KRIENEN-GRIFFITH FUNERAL HOME