Jack M. Greene was born in Hamilton, MO to Clarence and Grace Bainter Greene on March 21, 1925. He had one older sister, Janice Meredith. At age 12, the family moved to Hermann, where his father opened Greene’s Department Store. Jack graduated from Hermann High School in 1943, enrolled in Central Methodist College in Fayette and attended there until enlisting in the Army later that year. He then attended Oregon State University as part of the Army Specialized Training Program. Jack was called into action with the 11th Armored Division and a part of the Army battalion 492 Armored Field Artillery, company B, where he served as Forward Observer. His division was called into action as part of the Battle of the Bulge. Later, they guarded the Altaussee Salt Mines in Austria which were filled with art treasures of Vienna which had been stolen by Hitler. The 11th Armored Division also participated in the liberation of Mauthausen concentration camp. Much of his war efforts were documented through his own photography which he later ‘gifted’ to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
After the war, he came back to Hermann and helped manage the family business – Greene’s Department Store. Jack had a goal of “a mate by ‘48” and achieved that when he married Marjorie Greer on Sept. 7, 1947. They met during high school when Margie accompanied Jack on his french horn. They had 4 children, Richard, Meredith, Jonelle, and Melodie. Jack was active in the Hermann Jaycees and served as President of the Chamber of Commerce. He was named an “Honorary Girl Scout” after serving as chairman of their peanut sales. He organized a beautiful quilt display during Maifest each year. Jack artistically decorated the store windows, receiving awards for those as well as for Hermann’s Christmas light display. His hobby of photography also achieved him many honors, including 1st Place in the St. Louis Globe Democrat photography contest. He served as Adjutant General of the Hermann VFW where he was a lifelong member. For forty years he volunteered his time and talent to the Hermann United Methodist Church as choir director, collaborating with Margie, who was their volunteer church organist, and for the past 27 years was a member of St. Paul UCC. For many years, he sang, along with his family, in the annual Rotunda Show during the Maifest. He served as founding Secretary/Treasurer of Loutre Shore Country Club. After the family business was sold in 1982, Jack served as manager for the Hermann Senior Housing Corporation for 20 years.
Jack spent much of his free time on his many hobbies, which included wood working, photography, stained glass, clock-making, golf, sewing, liturgical banners, sand art, playing french horn, and he also took flying lessons. He had a strong faith in God, and was devoted to his family, to his church, to his community, and especially to his grandchildren.
Jack is survived by his wife, Marjorie, his daughters, Meredith (David) Gnaegy of Chesterfield, Jonelle (Dennis) Loehnig of Columbia, and Melodie (Kevin) Kelley of Kansas City, daughter-in law Mary Sue Smith, eight grandchildren, Katie Greene Edwards, Jenny Greene Connell, Grant Loehnig, Melissa Loehnig Simons, Leslie Gnaegy, Mallory Gnaegy Mast, Adam Kelley and Joshua Kelley, five great-grandchildren, and his beloved 4-legged companion, Jazzy. He was preceded in death by his sister, Janice, and his son, Richard.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at Sherry House Deck at Stone Hill Winery on Friday, July 3rd at 10:30 am, with visitation starting at 9:00 am at the winery. Interment with military honors will be at Loutre Island Cemetery, McKittrick, after the service. Memorials may be made to St. Paul United Church of Christ – Organ Fund; PO Box 352, Hermann, MO 65041. Arrangements are under the direction of the Toedtmann & Grosse Funeral Home, Hermann, MO.