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Wilber W. McGreer - February 20, 2014


Wilber (Will) Wayne McGreer, 93, died Sunday, Feb. 9, in Ogallala, Neb. Will, the second of three children, was born Feb. 3, 1921, to Coyle George and Clara Mae Wilber McGreer.
Will grew up on his parents’ farm and attended elementary school at Cottonwood Corner southeast of Big Springs, Neb. in Keith County. In 1927 the family moved to town where his dad worked as a carpenter. He attended Big Springs High School and graduated with the class of 1939.
Will enjoyed basketball, track and breaking horses with his brother Harold. He often talked about running home from school every day and what fun they had ice skating. Will represented Big Springs at the first Nebraska Boys State in 1937. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942 and served in the European theater during 1944 and 1945, including the Battle of the Bulge.
Will farmed with his brother, Harold, upon his return from military service. He married Patricia Thalken on Aug. 5, 1947, and soon moved to Paxton, Neb. to farm and ranch. In 1958 they moved their growing family back to the farm in Big Springs when his father retired.
Will and Pat opened McGreer Camper Park when the interstate went through in 1969 and continued running it until after their retirement from the farm. Even after they moved into town in 1988, Will continued helping out on the farm, especially during harvest.
Wilber was a member of the BPOE, American Legion and the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed the Big Springs alumni banquets each year and had attended 72 of the 74 banquets since his graduation. He also was an avid Detroit Tigers baseball fan and couldn’t pass up a good card game.
Will was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia, his brother Harold, and his son-in-law Thomas Balk.
Survivors include son Michael and wife Louise of Big Springs; daughter Maureen Balk Garza of Liberty, Mo., son Mark and wife Nita of Big Springs, daughter Marcia and husband Alan (Butch) Peterson of Leawood, Kan., daughter Margaret (Peg) and husband Steve Wood of Whitewater, Colo., and son Matthew and wife Diane of West Dundee, Ill.; sister Verna and husband Jim Sillasen of Keystone, Neb.; 23 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren.
Funeral Mass was held on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Ogallala with Father Bryan Ernest as celebrant.
Burial was in the Big Springs Cemetery at Big Springs.
A memorial has been established in his memory. Condolences may be shared at gubserfuneralhome.com.