Wilber (Will) Wayne McGreer, 93, died Sunday, February 9, 2014 in Ogallala, Nebraska. Will, the second of three children, was born February 3, 1921, to Coyle George and Clara Mae Wilber McGreer.
Will grew up on his parent’s farm and attended elementary school at Cottonwood Corner southeast of Big Springs in Keith County. In 1927 the family moved to town where his dad worked as a carpenter. He attended Big Springs High School and graduated with the class of ’39. Will enjoyed basketball, track and breaking horses with his brother Harold.
He often talked about running home from school every day and what fun they had ice skating. Will represented Big Springs at the first Nebraska Boys State in 1937. He was drafted into the US Army in 1942 and served in the European theater during 1944 and 1945, including the Battle of the Bulge.
Will farmed with his brother, Harold, upon his return from military service. He married Patricia Thalken on August 5, 1947, and soon moved to Paxton to farm and ranch. In 1958 they moved their growing family back to the farm in Big Springs when his father retired. Will and Pat opened McGreer Camper Park when the interstate went through in 1969 and continued running it until after their retirement from the farm. Even after they moved into town in 1988, Will continued helping out on the farm, especially during harvest.
Wilber was a member of the BPOE, American Legion and the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed the Big Springs alumni banquets each year and had attended 72 of the 74 banquets since his graduation. He also was an avid Detroit Tigers baseball fan and could not pass up a good card game.
Will was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia, his brother Harold, and his son-in-law Thomas Balk. Survivors include son Michael and wife Louise of Big Springs; daughter Maureen Balk Garza of Liberty, Missouri; son Mark and wife Nita of Big Springs; daughter Marcia Petersen and husband Alan (Butch) of Leawood, Kansas; daughter Margaret (Peg) Wood and husband Steve of Whitewater, Colorado; and son Matthew and wife Diane of West Dundee, Illinois; sister Verna Sillasen and husband Jim of Keystone. Will is also survived by 23 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren.
A memorial has been established in his memory. Condolences may be shared at gubserfuneralhome.com.
In honor of Julian C. Jenson. Your dedication and service to your country and your family will never be forgotten. We are blessed to have known such a great man, even just for a moment. May you rest in paradise.
Casey Saoit (Colorado Springs, CO): person making the tribute donation
Grandpa John, thank you so much for your service to our country in the US military. Grandma Carol, thank you for supporting Grandpa throughout his time in the service and serving as a military spouse. You are both great examples to our family and to others. We truly admire your commitment to each other, the United States, and to God. Love you and Merry Christmas!
Brent & Melisa Qvale
801 190th St
Eagle, NE 68347
My father, Bernard Sand, served in the 13th Air Force of the Army Air Corps in World War II. He was a pilot of cargo planes, C-47 and C-46, in the south Pacific area–Philippines, New Guinea, Australia, etc. He is now 93 and still talks about his experiences there, not to glorify war but to make others understand how many good and reliable men and women did their jobs every day to make the war effort a success. He did his job well and sent most of his pay to his widowed mother who was in Nebraska City. I make a gift in his honor, for his service during a very difficult time.
Donation and tribute from: Mark Sand