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Donald Edward Greenley


Posted By: diane (email)
Date: 9/16/2017 at 15:25:14

Donald Edward Greenley, 70, passed gently away in his home on August 16th after an 11-year Herculean struggle with cancers that even the finest of doctors and nurses could not quell. Throughout, his sense of humor, humility, and indomitable courage were always intact.

Don was born in Independence, Iowa to Oliver and Leona (Aden) Greenley on May 11, 1947. Because he was small and had trouble eating, the doctor told them to just take him home because his chances of survival were nonexistent. For 4 months his mother feed him with an eye dropper every 2 hours until he could keep his food down. It was that kind of dedication, love, work ethic and devotion to family in which he was raised and what established his moral compass.

Don served his professional life as Juvenile Probation Officer for the Judicial Branch of the State of Iowa for 34 years before his retirement with his co-worker and friend, Suzette Kramer, the one person who could keep him organized in spite of himself. He also raised llamas for 25 years and loved nothing better than going to shows and sales with people who were also smitten with all things llama, starting with Bonnie and Steve Sovern whose llamas were the first to win his heart. He came to meet some of his dearest, funniest friends through the llama network with Doug and Kristi Murdock at the top of the list.

As his last days approached, he talked, not of regret or anger, but of how lucky and blessed he'd been in his life. Some of his fondest memories were of, first and foremost, holding his beloved daughter in his arms for the first time in her life and being held by her for the last days in his. She was his greatest gift, his proudest achievement; she filled his heart right up to the brim. And then - she threw in an unbelievably wonderful husband and two perfect grandchildren. Oh my my, he was the happiest man!

He also talked of canoeing with his whole extended family on fishing trips with more fun and laughter than fish at Jim and Dianne's cabin in the Boundary Waters and at Lake Vermillion. Spending time with his nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters, just filled his dear heart. Talking chickens and watching the Hawkeyes with Art and Lois, going on adventures with them and Jeff and Mary, sharing their children's weddings knowing what wonderful years they had ahead of them, going on motorcycle trips around the United States with friends, listening to the sounds of rain on the roof of the barn while the llamas gently chewed their hay, wrestling in the grass with Sam, his Great Pyrenees, mowing the lawn on a summer's day, bowling with his buddies since he and his cousin, Den, were 9 years old, playing cribbage with Sarah and LeRoy, eating Auntie Colette's birthday rhubarb pie. Who could ask for anything more? Not Don, not once. He knew he was blessed every day from morning til night and was grateful for every single minute, as were we who knew him.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Oliver and Leona, his brother, James and his paternal and maternal grandparents.

Don is survived by his wife, Patricia McCardle Greenley, who was blessed to share his life for 43 years, his beloved daughter, Sarah and her husband, Nicholas Wheeler, the man who finally met Don's highest expectations for his daughter; the two most precious grandsons he could wish for, Nathan and Christopher; his dear brother, LeRoy; queens of the realm sister-in-laws Colette and Dianne Greenley and their cherished children and families, Kevin (Mary) Megan and Maci; Kyle (Rachel) Sean and Julia; Noelle (Fred) and Sabine; Luke (Kassi) Lyle and Lucy, and David; Charles Achoa (Valeria) Stephanie, Charlinos and Natasha; brother-in-law William McCardle (Kelly) and nieces Ailis and Mae McCardle. He also leaves behind many dear cousins and treasured friends, the entire Art and Lois Finnigan Family, Carol Ziesemer, the boys at the Lucky 10, his faith family at the First United Methodist Church and all the uncaught lunkers still swimming in the Boundary Waters and Lake Vermillion.

Visitation will be held on Friday at Reiff Funeral Home & Crematory in Independence, Iowa from 5 to 8:00 pm and a Celebration of Life will begin at 11:00 am on Saturday at the First United Methodist Church, with Rev. Scott Meador officiating, also in Independence. A private burial service will be held at a later day.

Memorial donations may sent to the Buchanan County Humane Society c/o of Rick Wulfekuhle 1116 5th Ave NE Independence, IA 50644, One Book, One Independence via the Buchanan County Library Foundation 805 1st St E Independence, IA 50644 and the University of Iowa Holden Cancer Center 200 Hawkins Dr, Iowa City, IA 52242.


Buchanan Obituaries maintained by Cindy Marshall.
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