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Madeleine Collester Greer, 93, died suddenly and peacefully at home in Spencer, Iowa, on December 1, 2013. She was born on March 12, 1920, to Dr. Charles C. and Mrs. Ethel L. Collester.
After graduating from Spencer High School, Madeleine went on to graduate from the University of Iowa, where she majored in economics and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and on the Dolphin Court. She and John J. Greer met in college and were married on June 27, 1942. A few years later they settled in Spencer, where he practiced law and she devoted herself to their six children.
She was well known throughout Spencer for her melodic whistle (as well as the deafening whistle with which she often summoned her children), quick wit, saddle/tennis shoes, and endearing herself to her children's friends. She was an avid sports fan, played a mean game of tennis for many years, and golfed into her 80s.
Lake Okoboji was one of Madeleine's great delights. Her parents built the first cottage on Spencer Beach and she spent many happy summers there. She, John and their children later enjoyed years of summers at their cottage on Echo Bay. She was an honorary cheerleader for the University of Okoboji.
Her greatest joy, by far, was her children, all of whom have always believed, and will always believe, that she was the best mother imaginable.
Madeleine is survived by her children Julie (John) Campbell of Washington, D.C., Laurie (Marv) Freeburg of Ames, Margy (Tom) Winkler of Coralville, Joel (Sharon) Greer of Marshalltown, and JP (Cindy) Greer of Spencer. A son, Dr. Charlie Greer (Gail) of Denver, preceded her in death.
Surviving grandchildren include (Julie's) Tarik Sedky and Mona Sedky, (Charlie's) Matthew Greer and Adam Greer, (Laurie's) Megan Caballero, Max Freeburg and Greer Freeburg, (Margy's) Steve Winkler and Susan Winkler, (Joel's) Kate Greer and Erin Greer, and (JP's) Charlie Greer, Bret Greer, John Greer and Karen Greer. She is also survived by 18 great-grandchildren. In addition to her son Charlie she was preceded in death by her husband and her sister, Marian Hausberg.
Visitation will be at the Warner Funeral Home from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, and the funeral service will be at the Warner Funeral Home at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. A private burial will precede the funeral. For memorial contributions, the family has designated The Okoboji Foundation.
Published in Des Moines Register on Dec. 6, 2013