Oscar Louis Greer
1919 - 2013
Oscar Greer completed his long assignment of this earth Wednesday, July 17, 2013 in Payson. He was born March 9, 1919 in Globe-Miami to Albert Newton Greer and Blanch Evelyn Clark Greer. They, along with two older sisters, Ruby and Hazel Greer, preceded him in death. Also preceding him in passing were his wife, Constance Frances Fraser Greer; and two children, Wilbur Lee Greer and Dorothy Georgianna Greer Wilkinson.
Mr. Greer was among those claiming Payson pioneer heritage. His family were cattle ranchers and miners; and included 45 marshals and sheriffs among their ranks.
Mr. Greer served in the U.S. Army during World War II and worked 38 years for Magma Copper mines driving underground trains. He also worked as a security guard and on ranches after WWII. He loved singing and playing his guitars, country western music, dancing and CB radios. His CB handle, Maverick, was his nickname. He also was active in Payson Sheriff’s Posse in 1980s.
He is survived by one son, Oscar Eugene Greer; and has nine grandchildren, Marilyn Greer, Michelle Williams, Nicole Williams, Michael Williams, Edward Williams (deceased), Allexander and Christina Williams, Danny and May Greer; 18 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.
Mr. Greer is very loved by all friends and family and will be greatly missed by all.
The public is welcome at the graveside service to be held at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, July 27 at the Payson Pioneer Cemetery. It will be followed by a family luncheon at the Payson Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 12:30 p.m.
Albert Greer married Blanch Clark of Pleasant Valley (Young), their two girls Ruby and Hazel were born in Young. When Blanche was pregnant a third time, she left Albert and the two girls and went to Globe. She gave birth to Oscar Louis Greer in Globe, March 9, 1919. She immediately gave Oscar to a distant relative and sent word to Albert that the baby had died. When Oscar was about a year old, his father discovered he was alive. He went into the foster home, picked him up and walked out.
The baby was taken home to live with his father, grandmother, his sisters, Ruby and Hazel, and Uncle Lon. The family moved to Payson when Oscar was 10.
Mr. Greer loved his grandmother and did everything he could for her. One way Oscar found to help was getting up early the morning after down-town dances and collect whiskey bottles to sell for nickels and dimes so he could buy groceries. He would have liked to have a candy bar, but never did because groceries were needed for the family, and to him family always came first.
The family had to move many times during his childhood because the men had to go where the work was. They lived on ranches, in mining houses and in a cabin on the Verde River where his Uncle Lon built a well, now known as the Waterwheel, where families picnic and children swim. The water enabled them to grow a garden and Uncle Lon had a still close by.
All the moving made it hard on Oscar’s education, but he did attend school in Payson whenever he could and graduated from the eighth grade there. He made up for lack of education with a gift of common sense. He was also very good with his hands and could fix anything.
One spring Oscar had a chance to go with two local families, the Minguses and Ezells, to California and pick fruit and vegetables in season. He taught himself to play the guitar and fiddle and they had music anywhere they went to find work. The families went on to Oregon to work and then into Washington. Here one of the boys got mad at Oscar over a girl, and when the work ran out the families left and did not take Oscar with them. He was discouraged and alone so he joined the service and was sent to Alaska a few months before war was declared. He was then sent to the Aleutian Islands. There was only ice and snow and Oscar said he was cold the whole time he was there.
After four years he was given an honorable discharge and returned home. He decided to re-enlist and went to Europe for the liberation. His unit joined up with General Patton.
Oscar married Connie Frances Fraser. They had three children, Gene, Wilbur and Dorothy and made their home in San Manuel, Ariz. where he worked for the Magma Copper Mine.
While living in San Manuel they purchased a house in Phoenix.
Oscar always wanted to live in Payson and brought the kids up often to fish and camp. Frances didn’t want to live in Payson and they eventually separated and he moved to Payson in 1982 where he remained.
He continued to play his music and sing with local bands in Payson. He also loved to dance and was out playing his music, singing or dancing on weekends.