Greyson “Wheat” Collingwood. December 23, 1934 – October 11, 2016.
If wealth is defined by being surrounded by loving friends and devoted family after a long and rich life, then Wheat died a very rich man. Wheat defined himself by his relationships — his relationship with God, his loving wife of 46 years, his daughter and granddaughters, and every person he met (all of whom he regarded as friends).
Wheat was born in Wichita, Kansas to Margaret Shannon Collingwood and Greyson Haslett Collingwood, and he was the youngest sibling to Martha Bay (Black) and Otis Collingwood. Ornery from a young age, Wheat became infamous for using his sister’s pearl neckless as ammunition for his b.b. gun, putting sand in his teacher’s car’s gas tank, putting a snake in his teacher’s desk, and other mischief. It was no wonder that his father sent him to the New Mexico Military Institute for high school.
After graduating from NMMI, Wheat enrolled in the University of Oklahoma, joined Delta Tau Delta fraternity, and majored in fraternity studies. Attending occasional business classes, Wheat relished college life, making life-long friends and enjoying a fanatical devotion to OU football.
After college, Wheat returned to Wichita and went into office and industrial equipment sales, eventually starting his own business, Collingwood Office Systems, where he was repeatedly nationally recognized for sales and service to his customers. In 1958, Wheat met his nephew’s kindergarten teacher, Sally Carolyn Rice. Wheat knew immediately that Sally was out of his league, so he married her on August 6, 1960, at his earliest opportunity.
Wheat’s and Sally’s only child, Julie Anne (Blumenthal), was born in 1965. Wheat and Sally raised Julie in Wichita. Never has a family of three been filled with so much love for each other. Their warm home was always open for pool parties, chili dinners, youth group activities, and New Year’s Day football games (shown on three televisions at the same time).
His beloved bride passed away in 2007. Mourning her loss took a toll on Wheat, but his deep Christian faith kept him focused on his family and friends. In 2013, Wheat moved to Prairie Village, Kansas to be closer to Julie and her husband, Michael Blumenthal, and his granddaughters, Sarah Bay and Kate Grace. He spent the remainder of his life doting on Julie, Sarah Bay, and Kate Grace, and enjoying the companionship of his friend, Dotty Watson.
A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and companion, Wheat always took interest in his family, listening intently to their stories and attending their school programs and athletic events. Wheat was a lover of all things chocolate, Bud Light over ice, OU football, Jayhawks basketball, and the Kansas City Royals.
Kind, gentle, and funny, Wheat was loved by all. He will be missed by his family and many friends more than words can describe.
The family will conduct a private burial on Friday, October 21, 2016 in Potwin, Kansas, with a celebration of life memorial service at 2 PM on Saturday, October 22, 2016, at Colonial Congregational Church in Prairie Village, Kansas.