Wilferd “Buzz” Greening, 85 of Waubay died on Monday, February 27, 2017 at Hospice House in Omaha, NE.
His funeral will be at 10:30 A.M. Friday, March 3, 2017 at Ortley Free Lutheran Church in Ortley, Robert Grebel will officiate. Burial will be in Lakewood Cemetery, Waubay.
Visitation will be at Fiksdal Funeral Service in Webster on Thursday 5-7 P.M. with a 6:30 P.M. prayer service.
Memorial can be directed to Josie Harper Hospice House, 7415 Cedar Street, Omaha, NE 68124-2367 and Ortley Free Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 6, Ortley, SD 57256.
Wilferd “Buzz” John Greening was born on Sunday, January 31, 1932 to John and Elsie (Thiele) Greening at Dell Rapids, South Dakota. His older sister Elaine nicknamed him “Buzz” and the name stuck for the rest of his life. The family moved to Waubay, South Dakota in 1935 and Buzz attended school in Waubay, graduating from Waubay High School in 1950. He was a member of Waubay’s first organized football team, playing his junior and senior years. He was also a part of Waubay’s 1949 boy’s track team that finished 2nd in the state meet that year, running 2nd in the mile relay squad. He always [pointed out that in those days the state track meet was one class, so by finishing in 2nd place in the entire state, Waubay beat out all of the “big” schools.
Buzz attended South Dakota State University for one year before working for the Bell Telephone Co. in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He was drafted into the US Army in August of 1952, serving in Korea until June of 1954. Upon his honorable discharge, he attended the South Dakota School of Business in Rapid City, South Dakota in the fall of 1954 and finished up his degree in 1955 at the School of Commerce in Aberdeen.
Buzz began his career with Montgomery Ward in Aberdeen in 1955, and was promoted to assistant store manager in Valley City, North Dakota in 1957, and transferred back to Aberdeen in 1959.
On September 1, 1956 he was united in marriage to Dorothy Leske at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Aberdeen. In 1962, the couple moved to Waubay where they purchased his father’s drug store which they owned and operated as Greening’s Store until 2005 when they closed the store and retired. Dorothy passed away November 26, 2013.
Buzz loved living in Waubay and the people there. He was very involved in community services and organizations. When the high school was in need of a band director, he took classes at Northern State College and served as the director from the fall of 1967 through the spring of 1969. As a member of the American Legion he served as Commander and was chosen 1966 District Legionnaire of the year. Starting in the eighth grade, he played “Taps” at all the military funerals and Memorial Day Services, continuing that practice into his sixties. Buzz served as the American Legion Athletic Officer for over a decade, supporting and helping run Waubay’s youth baseball programs. With the assistance of Andy “Clipper” Anderson, they personally transformed the baseball field and brought the State VFW Teener Tournament to Waubay in 1976 and a State American Legion Regional Tournament in 1977.
Buzz was also a member of the VFW in Ortley and later in Summit as well as former President of the Waubay City Council and Commercial Club of Waubay. Buzz was also a member of the Waubay Development Corporation, founding member of NE Glacial Lakes Tourism Board, serving as its second President, and was recently elected as an elder in the Ortley Free Lutheran Church.
Survivors include one daughter, Nancy (Richard) Peters of Plattsmouth, NE; one son, Kyle (Brigid) Greening of Des Moines, IA; one sister Audrey (Alvin) Dutenhoffer of Aberdeen, SD; five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Dorothy, one daughter Lynda, one sister, Elaine Greening and a son-in-law Kris Kornbaum.
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