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Life Story / Obituary
A warm-hearted jokester, Richard "Super Dick" Greenhoe lived a life rich in faith, family, and friends. Dick was a man who embodied the principles of his faith; he welcomed each day as a gift and every person as a friend. A very caring man, he was always available to support those he loved and inspired much laughter along the way. A devoted husband, father, Papa, and friend, Dick will long be remembered and so dearly missed.
In 1935, Harold and Anatacia (Saladin) Greenhoe held much hope for the future as they celebrated the birth of their son Richard Lee on August 21 at Butterworth Hospital. The second of four boys, Dick grew up with strong family values. His father worked as the head of maintenance at Butterworth Hospital, and his mother was a homemaker. The family lived on Lafayette in Grand Rapids, and Dick attended St. Alphonsus Elementary and Catholic Central High School.
During high school, Dick enjoyed a very active social life and participated on the track team. His event was high hurdles. During his freshman year, his cousin Barb introduced him to her best friend, Mary Ann Kay. Instantly smitten, he and Mary Ann's first date was to a school formal.
After graduating with the class of 1953, Dick enlisted in the United States Air Force. During his four years of service, he and Mary Ann kept in touch and wrote letters to each other nearly every day. He worked as an air traffic controller and spent two years in Japan during the Korean War. While on leave, on New Year's Eve in 1956 he proposed to Mary Ann the love of his life. In October of 1957, he was honorably discharged from the Air Force in Oklahoma, and safely returned home to West Michigan.
On February 15, 1958, the happy couple married in a ceremony at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Grand Rapids. After celebrating with family and friends, the bride and groom honeymooned in New York City. The newlyweds began their marriage in an apartment and purchased a home on Knapp Street a year later. Ten years later, they moved to Rodney Circle, where they lived for over 50 years and raised three children. Patti, Tom, and Kathi were the centers of their world, and Dick worked hard to provide his family with a loving and supportive home. He worked as a plant manager for M and T Chemicals and later worked as a dispatcher in the automotive industry.
Dick and Mary Ann built their lives on the firm foundation of their Catholic faith. They were long term members of Blessed Sacrament, where they were active members for fifty years. Though their siblings did not live nearby, Dick's and Mary Ann's parents lived in town, that meant they always had big extended family gatherings. Many were enjoyed over the years.
A fun dad with a quick wit, his kids fondly remember how he would race them from the garage to the door of the house. As he'd pass them at the very end, he'd triumphantly announce, "Still got it!" For many years the family kept a trailer at Olin Lake Campground. There were about ten families from Blessed Sacrament who camped together. Their kids all went to school together. Many wonderful memories were made playing volleyball, boating, swimming, enjoying pig roasts, and gathering around the campfires, one for the kids and one for the adults. The corn roast competition that Dick won by eating 24 ears of corn proved the stuff of legend.
After retiring in 1997 at age 62, Dick and Mary Ann chose to purchase a motorhome. By then, the campground had closed down, so they spent time traveling the country by themselves and with friends and family. Dick loved the University of Michigan football and basketball and even traveled to Hawaii for the Aloha Bowl one year. He and Mary Ann enjoyed eating out on the weekends, and Dick's favorite meal was homemade chop suey. While he enjoyed playing golf, listening to Neil Diamond, and putting salt on everything, nothing gave him greater joy than dancing with his bride or attending his grandchildren's special events. His grandchildren were his heart's delight, and he treasured every moment they shared. Dick also enjoyed the special companionship of his Maltese Shih Tzu, Teddy, who went everywhere with him.
A kind man who lived every moment to the fullest, Dick proved a wonderful role model for how to live a heart-centered life rooted in faith and gratitude. As we celebrate his life, may we find much comfort in our many treasured memories and in the honor of carrying his legacy forward. In each moment we share a laugh with loved ones, gather around the campfire, cheer on each others' endeavors, and take to the dance floor with our beloved, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired us.
Richard "Dick" L. Greenhoe age 87, of Grand Rapids, passed away on July 4, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Anastacia Greenhoe; and infant sons, Richard Lee, John Joseph, and Michael John. Dick is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary Ann; his children, Patricia Morton, Tom (Deborah) Greenhoe, and Kathleen (Jamey) Cook; grandchildren, Elizabeth (Sean) Casey, Karen McCarty, Eric (Kristina) Raczkowski, Katelyn (Blake) Hamilton, Danielle Cook, Carly Greenhoe, Sean Greenhoe, Makenzie Cook and Tierney Greenhoe and 7 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his brother, Don (Judi) Greenhoe, and sister-in-law, Elizabeth Kay. Dick honorably served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 AM on Saturday, July 8, 2023, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 2275 Diamond Ave NE. The family will receive visitors on Friday from 5-8 PM, with a Rosary at 7:30 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Van Strien Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE, and for one hour prior to the Mass at church. Interment in Fairplains Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or Association for the Blind or Visually Impaired. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Dick's life story, submit a favorite memory or photo, or sign the guestbook online.