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Mary Greenlaw-Meyer

May 27, 1957 — February 29, 2024

Madison

Mary Greenlaw-Meyer, age 66, of Madison (Mount Horeb) Wisconsin died peacefully in the presence of her husband at Agrace Hospice on February 29, 2024.  She was born on May 27,1957 in Rochester, NY, spent her formative years in Lexington, KY, and then moved with her family to Marshfield, WI.   Mary was destined to become a life-long educator.  After graduating from Marshfield High School in 1975, Mary attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  There, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 1980 and met her future husband, Thomas.  Mary’s first job as a newly-licensed public educator was teaching fourth grade in the Wisconsin Rapids School District. On June 12, 1982, Mary and Thomas were married in Stevens Point, and the following year they moved to Verona, WI, where Mary began her long tenure in the Verona Area School District.  She spent most of her career as a language arts and social studies instructor at the Verona Area Middle School and Badger Ridge Middle School.  During that time, Mary earned her Master of Science degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.   For several years, she served as a negotiator for the Verona Area Education Association teachers’ union and as the head coach of the high school boys and girls varsity swim teams.  In 2006, Mary was honored with a Herb Kohl Foundation Teacher Fellowship, which recognized her excellence and innovation as a public educator.  “Mrs. GM” retired from teaching in June 2017 after 37 years, having taught an estimated 2,500 young people.

Mary often cited her most meaningful days as those when she gave birth to her sons -- Benjamin in 1989 and Aaron in 1993.  Above all else, she defined herself as a loving and devoted mother, one who was proud of rearing two exceptionally fine, caring men.  Adding to the richness of her life, Mary enjoyed global travel, exploring the wonders of the natural world, and dwelling in quiet contemplation of the beauty of the family’s blufftop farm near Mount Horeb.  She was a truly voracious reader.  Among her life’s other great passions were her relationships with dogs -- from competing in canine agility trials to fostering rescue dogs for adoption by veterans.   

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Louise Greenlaw.  She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Thomas Meyer; sons Aaron Meyer and Benjamin (Erika) Meyer; grandson Rhys; sisters Sarah (Matthew O’Brien) Greenlaw and Ann (David) Moffat; brother Paul (Lisa Ocokoljich) Greenlaw; and several nephews and nieces.

The family extends its heartfelt gratitude to the wide circle of friends and others who cared for and about Mary, especially in her later years.  After being diagnosed in 2017, she suffered the challenges wrought by Multiple System Atrophy, an aggressive, neurodegenerative disease in the Parkinson’s family.  Thank you to her physician Mark Timmerman, staff of the River Valley Clinic, her team of UW neurologists, caregivers at Vista West, and the many other medical professionals that cared for Mary.  Her Rock Steady Boxing support team and trainers, especially Patti Batt, gave her continuous encouragement and hope. Lastly, Mary’s family especially honors the compassionate caregivers of Agrace Hospice, who provided Mary and the family comfort and exceptional care in her final days.  Please consider making a donation in memory of Mary to further the mission of Agrace at www.agrace.org.

A memorial service celebrating Mary’s life will be held in the Performing Arts Center of the Verona Area High School, 234 Wildcat Way, Verona, WI on Friday, March 22, 2024 at 5:30 p.m.

 

Please share your memories at www.cressfuneralservice.com

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