Mary K. Grebe
Mary Kathryn (Halloran) Grebe, 86, passed away on Thursday, April 4, 2019 surrounded by loving family members and pets, at the Ashton Living Center in Ashton, Idaho. Mary K was born in Kansas City, MO to Thomas Vincent Halloran and Margaret Isabel (Harrington) Halloran on January 8, 1933.
She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and Pickstown, South Dakota. As a young girl, Mary K was identified with a genius IQ, especially in math and science. In high school, she worked as a soda jerk and was the town expert and tour guide for the Fort Randall Dam, a huge earthen dam being built on the Missouri River by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. After graduating at the top of her class from Pickstown High School, Mary K attended the South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City, SD as the only woman in the civil engineering program.
On July 20, 1955, Mary K married the love of her life, Navy LTJG Leland L. Grebe, at the church in Lake Andes, South Dakota. Together, Mary K and Lee raised five children. No matter where they called 'home' -- especially Endicott, NY -- Mary K was the 'neighborhood mom'...kid chauffeur in her VW Microbus, Girl Scout Troop leader, lifeguard and number one fan at every school event. There were always creative projects going on at the Grebe house like knitting, sewing, macram, Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses and intricate Ukrainian Eggs which she gifted to many friends and family members. She taught all of her children to ski which became a family passion.
Mary K possessed a remarkable, creative mind and extraordinary sense of humor. She was truly at home surrounded by family, nature and animals. She bestowed upon everyone an abiding love of our natural surroundings. Those lucky enough to take long walks in the woods with Mary K benefitted from her extensive knowledge of perennial flowers and creatures in their natural habitat. She also found time to engage in her local community, running for Tioga County Commissioner, teaching CCD classes for the Catholic church, and volunteering with Meals on Wheels.
Everyone who met and knew Mary K remarked on her kind, generous heart. Upon learning of Mary K's passing, one person noted: "She was certainly a brilliant woman, but most of all she was one of the kindest, sweetest and most generous people I've ever met. She was always helping other people."
An admiration and interest in architecture, including the work of Frank Lloyd Wright showed in the homes she and Leland owned and cared for. Their many trips for visits across the country are fondly remembered and fostered a family appreciation for camping and travel. They lived all over the world--including several locations in New York, McLean, VA, Paris France and Evergreen, CO--before moving to Idaho and settling into the Ashton Living Center.
Mary K is survived by her loving husband Lee; two sisters, Ellen (Tom) Johnson of Virginia Beach, VA and Sarah (Tom) Shaw of Leesburg, VA; sister-in-law, Alice (Wilsey) Halloran of New Baltimore, NY; and sister-in-law, Elaine (Grebe) Boeker of Stickney, SD; four children, Sheilah (Geno Morandi) Grebe of Tetonia, ID; Vincent (Linda Snupik) Grebe of Binghamton, NY; Lorie Grebe and Vorwerk family of Evergreen, CO; and Margaret (Derrik Hufsmith) Grebe of Driggs, ID; five grandchildren, Amelia Hufsmith; Gregory and Steven Grebe; and Alex and Hunter Nichols; and dozens of adoring nieces, nephews, cousins and family friends. She was pre-deceased by her daughter, Celeste (Grebe) Nichols and brother, John Halloran. Mary K would also want us to mention her good companions: Rascal, Harry, Cooney, Plato, Martini, Cougar, Corki, Shep, Lucky, Frank and Mike.
The family wishes to thank all those who cared for Mary K, especially the awesome staff, who became family, at the Ashton Living Center, including sweet Hazel.
"If You're Lucky Enough to Live in the Mountains, You're Lucky Enough"
Donations can be made to: Ashton Living Center 700 N 2nd Ashton, ID 83420
Condolences may be sent online to the family at www.baxterfh.com