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Katharine Bancroft Greer

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WOODSTOCK -- Katharine Bancroft Greer, known to her friends as Kay, died peacefully in her sleep at Mertens House in Woodstock on Sept. 18, 2003.

She was 94. Born in New York City, she grew up in White Plains, N.Y., but spent the majority of her life in Bennington, Manchester, and Woodstock.

A graduate of Saint Agnes School, she later studied fine art and painting in New York and Munich, and had showings of her watercolors in galleries in New York, Bridgeport, Conn., Winter Park, Fla., Dorset and Manchester.

An avid skier, she skied at Lake Placid, N.Y., carrying her skis through the streets of New York City to catch the Friday afternoon ski train north, and in the Austrian Alps before World War II. She also skied at Suicide Six at its inception, and was a regular at Tuckerman’s Ravine in N.H., where they put fur skins on over their skis to “herringbone” up the mountain to their starting point.

During the war, she was an airplane spotter in the Air Warning Service on the Connecticut coast, before joining the Red Cross and serving in England, France, and Italy, where she organized Red Cross clubs and recreation centers for GIs. She met her future husband, George Earl Greer, at one of the clubs, and they were married in the States after the war.

She loved books and worked in the libraries of Bennington, Dorset and Manchester. She also took in foreign students who were attending Bennington College, so that her children could meet and learn from natives of Japan, Nicaragua, Spain, Sierra Leone, Scandinavia and many other countries.

Her love of birds, animals, and geography took her traveling worldwide, to Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Africa, Mexico, Guatemala, the South Pacific and the Caribbean.

Her other interests included gardening, cats, the Marx Brothers, walking, bridge (she was once “accused” by friends of having three children especially to make a bridge foursome), classical music, ballet, and Vermont Public Radio, particularly “those crazy men on CarTalk.” In all things she maintained an optimistic outlook, an enduring intellectual curiosity, a tough self-reliance, and a wonderful sense of humor.

She leaves behind twin daughters, Charlotte Cleveland of Woodstock, and Edith Jordan of Sunderland; a son, Samuel Greer of Sandy Ridge, N.C.; a grandson, Sean, and a great granddaughter, Alyssa.

Cabot Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Published in Bennington Banner on Sept. 23, 2003
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