Wed, 04/05/2017 - 10:22am admin
Richard Greeno, age 88, of Sioux Falls, S.D., passed away on Monday, March 27, 2017, at the Sanford USD Medical Center.
Richard Byrd Greeno was born on July 26, 1928, near Britton, the eighth child of Blanche L. (Niesen) and Milton Victor Greeno. Rich was the youngest of five brothers and two sisters.
He grew up in Amherst, Britton and Langford and graduated from Langford High School in 1946. He attended Northern State University earning a bachelor of science degree in 1950 and earning a master of arts degree after attending summer sessions in 1953, 1954 and 1955. He earned hours past the master’s degree from Mount Marty College, Yankton, South Dakota State University, Brookings, and Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif.
Rich's first teaching and coaching position was at Philip High School, (1950-51). After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army (1951-53), he returned to Philip for the 1953-54 school term. In the Army, Richard was in the combat engineer basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., and finished his tenure in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps with stints at Ft. Holabird Md., Minneapolis, Minn., and Aberdeen.
Richard and Rosemary Griesel were married at the First United Methodist Church in Philip on Sept. 17, 1951. Their son, Mark, was born at the Quinn hospital on April 26, 1954, while they lived in Philip, and a daughter, LuAnn, was born May 12, 1956, in Yankton.
From 1954-1968, Rich and Rosemary lived in Yankton where Rich taught biology and coached for two years at the middle school level, two years as an assistant in basketball and football, 12 years as head cross country and track and field coach and eight years as athletic director in addition to his coaching duties. The family moved to Sioux Falls in June 1968, where Rich taught biology and was the head cross country and track and field coach at Lincoln High School. From 1990 through the spring of 2004, Rich was the head coach in cross country and track and field at the University of Sioux Falls.
Rich was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Langford, Philip, Yankton and Sioux Falls. He served in various capacities in the church on committees and a long-time usher. He was a lifetime member of the South Dakota Education Association, National Education Association, and Sioux Falls Education Association. He was a past president and member of the South Dakota High School Coaches Association. He belonged to the National Biology Teachers Association. Rich served as secretary-treasurer of the Eastern South Dakota Conference three years and secretary-treasurer of the South Dakota High School Coaches Association for seven years. He was an original member of the South Dakota High School Track and Field committee, where he served seven years and an original member of the South Dakota Track and Field Advisory Board serving a four-year term.
Rich was a longtime football and basketball official. He refereed in the State Class "B" Basketball Tourney, the first Girls Basketball State Tournament and the first South Dakota High School Football playoffs. Rich refereed 15 years in the North Central Conference in football.
While in Yankton, he directed the Yankton Little League and Teener Summer Baseball program for 12 years and spent over 40 years directing the summer track and field program for the Park and Recreation Department in Sioux Falls. Rich was a member of the Howard Wood Dakota Relays board of directors for over 40 years.
Rich earned numerous honors at the local, state and national level. His hall of fame awards include Northern State University, Yankton High School, Lincoln High School, University of Sioux Falls, South Dakota Sportswriters, National Federation of High School Coaches Association, the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference and in 2005 was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame. In 1999, at ceremonies in Washington, D.C., Rich received the National Federation of State High School Associations highest award as he was inducted into their National High School Hall of Fame. Also in 1999, he received Hershey's Track and Field's highest award when he received the Gary McQuaid Volunteer of the Year. In 1974, Rich was named National High School Athletic Coaches Association Track and Field Coach of the Year and in 1990 was named National Cross Country coach of the Year by the same organization. In 1975, he was an assistant team manager of the USA Track and Field team as they toured Europe and in competition against the USSR in Kiev, Prague, Czech and Durham, N.C. against Poland and the West Germany teams. In 2004, Rich received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the University of Sioux Falls.
Rich Greeno was preceded in death by his mother, Blanche, in 1950; his dad, Victor, 1958; brothers, Joe, 1907-1973, Laton, 1909-1974, Ken, 1911-1988, Woody, 1914-1993, Rollie, 1926-2011 and Rolllie's twin brother, Ronald, who died at birth; sisters, Victoria, 1905-1983, and Marguerite, 1913-1987, and his wife, Rosemary, 1929-2013.
Grateful for having shared his life are his son, Mark and wife, Sue, their daughter, Anna and husband, Mark Beker, of Washington, D.C.; daughter, LuAnn Murren and husband, Marc, their daughters, Amy Heinert (Paul), Emily Murren and son, John Murren, of Sioux Falls; and two great-grandsons, Ilya and Miles, and one great-granddaughter, Laton.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the First United Methodist Church or the S.D. High School Coaches Association Foundation.
Private interment at Woodlawn Cemetery with a memorial service was held Friday, March 31, at First United Methodist Church, Sioux Falls.