Dr. Thomas Henry Greer of Cedar Park, Texas died January 15, 2010 at the age of 93.
He was born July 24, 1916 in Gustine, Texas (that’s in West Texas folks) to Mr. and Mrs. James A. Greer. Preceded in death by his beloved wife Bette Virginia Greer, brothers Luke Greer, Frank Greer, sisters Sarah Knouse and Iney Ruth Wolcott.
Thomas is survived by daughters Dorian Girard and Lindslee Kerr. Son-in-laws Patrick Girard and John Kerr. Grandchildren Danielle Girard, Colleen Jendusa and husband Bobby, Justin Kerr and wife Cathy and her daughter Heather. Nephew John Paul Knouse and daughter Jennifer; nieces Patty Sue McGarity, Martha Rose Green and husband Bill, Sandy and Donald Morris and their children Mark and son Joel, Jeanne and husband Steve Pendleton and their children Megan and Morgan, Arisha Morris, son Brandon, and Joe, Leslie and her husband Jeff Morse, and their daughters Haley, Heather and her husband Will Clayton; Christy and Doug Radcliff and sons Adam and Ricky. Brother in law Myron Ista. Extended family Debbie and Paul Podraza, Mary and Pat Casey. Close family friend Vicki Moffatt and husband David. As well as an abundance of friends, fellow musicians and educators throughout the years, the old Common Interest crowd and of course his second family for the last 6 years – fellow residents and staff members of the Pointe in Cedar Park.
Dear Father, Grandfather, Father-in-Law, Uncle and friend, you were a most kind, generous and gentle-hearted soul who filled our lives with music. You shared with us your sweet good nature, and of course your humor and mischievous spirit. Entertainer, musician, violinist, violin maker, trumpet player, composer, teacher, Texan, WWII army band leader, big band member, symphony conductor, yellow dog democrat, all around ham, human candy dispenser, old fart and codger (your words). You led a long and rich life. You’ll be sorely missed.
Raised in Rochester, Texas, “Tommy” came from a family of newspaper people in a small town in which the entire family ran the newspaper and also played in the town band. He received his Bachelor of Music from McMurray, Masters of Music from SMU, and PHD in Musicology from North Texas. During WWII, Thomas served as the Band Leader of the 6th Army Group, received the Bronze Star Medal, French Croix De Guerre and numerous other awards. After the war Tom continued his music career, playing trumpet with big bands and continuing on as a music educator.
In 1948 he married Bette Von Derheydt in Las Vegas. Tom and Bette raised their family in Brownwood, San Angelo, Wichita Falls, Edinburg, McAllen and Austin. In 1975, Tom received the distinguished alumni award from McMurray University. Thomas retired as a music professor and symphony conductor at Pan American University in Edinburg in 1977, and moved to Austin.
Our family wishes to thank the various healthcare professionals, doctors and their staff alike, who provided such attentive, respectful and kind well-care to Tom which enabled him to live a very active, full and healthy life. Please know that you made a difference in his life—staff and doctors Ben Smith, Scott Smith, Michelle Berger, Tony Funicella, and Prati Shah, as well as the nurses, staff and doctors of Brackenridge during his final days. And last but certainly not least, thank you to the wonderful staff and residents of the Pointe, his home and second family for over the past 6 years. He enjoyed his independent living and the chance to make you laugh. Please give a loud “yo ho ho and a bottle of rum” at seniorcise and play a round of bingo or bunko for Tom.
In memory of Tom, please take the time today to enjoy music and art – listen, look, or create. In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation to Central Texas Orff c/o Lorelei Davis, 4538 Pinehurst Mesa, San Antonio, Texas 78247, or to any worthy organization that supports music and arts education in schools. Services were held on Monday, January 18, at Beck Funeral Home in Cedar Park, Texas.