Merle Greig passed away peacefully on Monday, the 10th of April 2023, in her Kansas home of 50 years with family by her side. She was 86. Merle was born in Chicago on the 1st of February 1937, to Esco Lee Key and Mildred Irene Key. She is now in heaven, reunited with her husband Richard “Dick” Greig who passed seven years prior. Merle and Dick will be celebrating their reunion with many dear friends and family who have gone before them.
Merle is preceded in death by her parents and her older brother, Robert Key. She is survived by her five children: sons Michael Greig and his wife Carla of Austin, TX, Daniel Greig and his wife Karen of Kearney, MO, Peter Greig and his wife Viviane of Prairie Village, KS, John Greig and his wife Nikki of Sugar Land, TX, and her daughter Kerri Umentum and her husband Bart of Overland Park, KS. Merle is also survived by eighteen wonderful grandchildren, Stratton Greig, Samantha Greig, Carson Greig, Ashlyn Perry, Emma Perry, Andrew Greig, Isabella Umentum, Jack Greig, Madelyn Umentum, Thomas Greig, Austin Greig, Brett Umentum, Ava Greig, Genevieve Umentum, Quinn Greig, Gianna Umentum, Sophia Greig and Ty Greig.
Merle grew up in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from a Catholic girl’s high school, she enrolled at Michigan State University where she first met Dick during a Spring Break trip in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After graduation and a few short months of dating, Dick and Merle married in Chicago on August 28, 1958 and moved to Troy, Michigan to begin their life together. In 1963, after the birth of their first two children, they moved their young family to Ramsey, New Jersey where Dick worked in the automobile industry and Merle focused on raising the family as they added three more children to the clan including their first daughter, Kerri. Now that they had the big family they dreamed of, in 1972 Merle and Dick decided to move once more, this time to Overland Park, Kansas. Merle and Dick loved the warmth and friendliness of the people of Kansas City and here is where they decided to live the rest of their lives together, to watch their children grow up, make friends, go to school, get married and eventually, raise grandchildren. “Grammy” and “Daddy Dick” treasured their time with their grandchildren more than anything else in the world. It is in Overland Park where Merle and Dick would create many lifelong friendships with neighbors and others that shared their interest in good times and family.
Merle and Dick knew how to enjoy the simple things in life. They took immense pride and joy in their backyard flower garden which eventually took over the entire backyard. They loved spending time amongst the gardens during the magnificent spring and fall Kansas days, reading the paper, drinking their morning coffee, or sipping a glass of wine. Merle always enjoyed being surrounded by her large family, close friends and many, many pets. The Greig home was where family and friends always gathered. Merle’s home was the place to be for Christmas. Nobody could decorate a home for the holidays like Merle did every year. When word of her over-the-top Christmas décor got out, her home was even featured by the local newspaper to share the seasonal beauty with the rest of Kansas City. Every year all of the Greig children and grandchildren would cram into Merle and Dick’s festive living room together to spend hours opening gifts, sipping on seasonal cocktails, and celebrating the time spent together. Merle would always invite close friends to spend Christmas Eve at her home with her family, and often they did. Dick and Merle preached that in their home, friends are family. Merle was warm and kind to all that she met, she was loved by so many, and will be missed dearly by all of us. We can all smile knowing Merle is finally reunited with Dick, the love of her life. Rest in peace Grammy.
A memorial service celebrating Merle’s life is to be held at 11am on Saturday, the 15th of April, at St. Ann Catholic Church, 7231 Mission Road in Prairie Village, Kansas. A visitation room will open at the church at 10:30am. Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception at the home of her son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Viviane Greig.