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Heidi Greer

April 7, 1966 ~ April 5, 2023 (age 56) 56 Years Old
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Heidi Nelson Fields Greer, 56, passed from this life on April 5, 2023, after a courageous battle against
myocarditis. Heidi is survived by her husband, Gordon; her boys, Tate and Teague; her mother, JoAnna;
her parents-in-law, Lynn and Terry, and Charles and Vernal; her siblings, Molly and Geoff; her siblings-in-
law, Tom, Mer, Kent, and Sabrina; her nephew and nieces, Bennett, Nora, Taylor, and Cass; her dog,
Sparty; and a host of other relatives and friends who adore her.

Heidi was born on April 7, 1966 and soon became “Potsy” to her Dad and “Punkinseed” to her maternal
grandfather. Heidi grew up in Midland, Michigan. She earned her high school diploma from Phillips
Academy, Andover, MA, and her B.A. from Michigan State University. She received her elementary
education teaching certificate from Grand Valley State University (where she also met her life partner
and husband, Gordon), and she earned her Masters in Education from Michigan State.

Heidi was possibly the finest elementary school teacher ever to exist. She first taught elementary school
in Milwaukee. Legend has it that, while Heidi was working in Milwaukee, some children got in trouble
for writing graffiti in the bathroom. The principal knew that the children involved were Heidi’s students
because all of the words were spelled correctly. In 2000, Heidi returned to Michigan and went to work
as a third grade teacher at Alto Elementary School in Lowell. At Alto, she worked her magic as a creative,
determined, loving educator for the next 23 years, teaching several different grade levels. She never,
ever gave up on a child. She taught and nurtured thousands of children, all of whose lives were made
better by having had Heidi as a teacher.

Though she dedicated herself professionally to teaching, Heidi’s true love and her favorite hobby was
her family. She loved all her family members fiercely. Not surprisingly, she had a special place in her
heart for - and took particular joy from - her sons, Tate and Teague. In each of Tate and Teague, we see,
in different ways, Heidi’s spark, her fire, her keen mind, and her wry and wonderful sense of humor.
Heidi put herself and her needs second to the needs and desires of many people, most especially her
family members.

Heidi’s courage and dignity in the last several months humbled us. She endured great pain and fought
hard against a vicious disease, all the while making the most of the time she had left by focusing love
and attention on her family, especially Gordon, Tate, and Teague. She approached her fight with
myocarditis the same way she approached challenges her entire life - with the firm conviction that
“there’s no quit in this dog”. As a teacher, one of Heidi’s mantras to her students was “we can do hard
things”. Over the last months, we watched Heidi do one of the hardest things we have ever seen, with
grace, dignity, and fire.

Heidi was passionate about the people she loved, and also about her beliefs. She was an advocate for
social justice. She believed firmly that all people deserve to be treated with decency and kindness, and
she was a staunch advocate for women’s rights. She was a dynamic communicator. She did not suffer
fools (or telemarketers) gladly. She had the most wonderful laugh - infectious and utterly joyful; we
loved it the most when she laughed so hard that she would start crying. She had a twinkle in her eye
when teasing those she loved, and a fabulous raised eyebrow and eye-roll when she had doubts about
someone or something. She was wickedly fun to trade gossip with.

Heidi loved her family, walks with Sparty, the MSU Spartans, tubing down the Boardman River in
Traverse City, pizza from Pizza Sam’s in Midland, nachos from El Azteco in East Lansing, Gibby’s french
fries at the Fair, ABBA, the State of Michigan, time spent with her boys, gossip and laughs with her Mom,  doing science fair projects with her Dad, reading a good book, french pastries and Julia Child, and good-
naturedly teasing her loved ones. In sum, she was a top-notch human being. We miss her terribly, but
each of us will forever carry within us her presence and joy, everywhere we go.

If you would like to make a donation in Heidi’s name, please consider giving to Faith Hospice at Trillium
Woods, the Myocarditis Foundation, or the Patient Advocate Foundation. If you wish to do something
for yourself in remembrance of Heidi, please read a good book (to yourself or to a child), cheer on the
MSU Spartans, or have a good laugh with someone you care about, and think about Heidi when you do.

A celebration of Heidi Greer’s life will be held on Sunday, June 11th from noon to 3PM at Calvin
University’s Bunker Interpretive Center (Calvin Ecosystem Preserve and Native Gardens) on the Calvin
campus – the public is most welcome. Heidi requested that everyone wear Converse Chuck Taylors to
the memorial.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Heidi Greer, please visit our floral store.


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