Therese “Terri “ Josephine Greif
A private funeral mass was held for Therese “Terri” Greif, 92, of North Bend, at Saint Monica Catholic Church in Coos Bay, Oregon with Father Robert Wolf presiding. A graveside committal followed at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery in Coos Bay.
The eldest of four children, Terri was born on April 17, 1928 in Portland, Oregon to Joseph Alexander and Cecilia ( Fisher ) Alexander. She passed away peacefully at her home on North Bay Drive in North Bend on October 31, 2020.
Growing up in Portland, Terri graduated from Immaculata Catholic High School for girls. While living in that city she worked as a floor model for the fashion clothing manufacturing company White Stag. After moving to Coos Bay with her father she worked at various times for United Electric, was a dental assistant and held a job at First National Bank.
Terri met her future husband, Merton Ernest Greif, on a blind date arranged partially by Mert’s brother Roland. Terri and Mert were wed on August 3, 1952 and celebrated 66 years of marriage before his passing in 2018. They had three children together.
Before retiring, Terri was a fixture at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in North Bend in the capacity of church secretary. She held the position for 26 years during which time, in addition to her responsibilities as secretary and bookkeeper, she was instrumental in organizing the popular and regularly held church bingo nights.
Terri led an active life, enjoying fishing and deer hunting with her husband, painting and wallpapering her homes, dancing to the songs in the Big Band Era ( “…I danced right through my stockings!”) and playing the piano. Terri was essentially self-taught on that instrument and played by ear. She played at house parties with friends and was known to commandeer the piano a time or two if one was left unattended at a restaurant or hotel lobby. Her ability to listen to a tune and play it back was remarkable. After retirement Terri made a regular circuit playing piano at various elder care facilities in the Coos Bay/North Bend area as well as annually entertaining fair goers at the Coos County Fair in Myrtle Point.
A long time season ticket holder, Terri was an unfailing fan of University of Oregon football. Driving to Eugene to attend home games with family was a cherished ritual. She was known in Autzen Stadium as “The Tootsie Lady” for her habit of handing out miniature tootsie rolls to other Duck fans when Oregon scored. Other regular enjoyments during her life were trips to Ashland to attend live theater, to Agness, Oregon for family summer vacations, to the Mill Casino for the nickel slot machines and to Bandon for winter vacations which would include Super Bowl Sunday with her children and grandchildren surrounding her at the television. Playing golf, bingo, Yahtzee, washers and poker games were favorite pastimes. And throughout it all there was a cold Pepsi close by.
Those who knew her will remember Terri as well organized and creative, quick to laugh and quick with a humorous comeback line. She was always ready to pitch in and help, always ready to strike up a friendly conversation with a stranger next to her in line. From the kid sitting two rows behind her at Autzen Stadium to each and every one in her family who loved her so much, you knew you were lucky to know her. She will be sorely missed.
Terri is survived by her son Jeff Greif and his wife Paula; daughter, Nanette Ross and her husband Bob; daughter, Heidi Evonuk and her husband Tom; grandchildren, Farmer, Gus, and Henry Greif and Nathan, Meghan, Evan and Bethany Ross; great-grandchildren, Xian Drew, Avery Kennedy and Lawson and Henrietta Ross; a loving extended family and Terri’s attentive live-in caregiver and friend Robin Parish who did so much for the family with the help of her sister Teresa Soto.
Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com and www.theworldlink.com. Arrangements are under the care of North Bend Chapel, 541-756-0440.
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