Obituary for Janis Ware Greer
Janis Ware Greer (“Mimi”), 87, completed her earthly pilgrimage on May 23, 2020 in Meridian, Idaho.
She is survived by the family she loved and who will long cherish the memories they made with her: daughters Brenda Greer Fisher and Pamela Greer Matlack; sons-in-law Stephen M. Fisher and Gary H. Matlack; and grandchildren Ryan Greer Matlack, Ian James Fisher, Erin Faith Matlack, and Colin Joseph Fisher. The Fishers reside in Caldwell, Idaho; the Matlacks live in Prosper, Texas.
Janis is pre-deceased by her husband James Raymond Greer; her sister Carla Maxine Hood; and parents Gortha G. Ware and Doll Toler Ware.
Janis was born to Gortha and Doll Ware on September 1, 1932, in Shreveport, LA. She graduated from Fair Park High School in 1950 then went on to graduate cum laude from Centenary College in 1954 with a B.A. degree. Janis was also a member of Chi Omega Sorority and numerous scholastic societies.
She worked as a teacher, an assistant at the Shreveport Times Library, office manager for Hilliard-Barlow Designs, and Facilities Coordinator and Receptionist at First Baptist Church of Shreveport. Janis retired in 1995.
Janis married Raymond Greer in 1956. At the time of Raymond’s death, they had been married for 62 years!
Janis was a member of Christ Community Church in Caldwell, Idaho.
Although a native and longtime resident of Louisiana, Janis spent the final six and a half years of her life in Caldwell, Idaho. Most recently, she resided at Grace Assisted Living, where caregivers referred to her fondly as “our Southern Belle.” The family wishes to thank those who helped with her care, including Dr. Steven Koga, Dr. Karl Undesser, and their staffs at West Valley Medical Group; Dr. Will Black and staff at Family Eyecare; Multicare Home Health and their amazing sitters; the wonderful folks at Grace Assisted Living; the caring staff at Aspen Transitional Rehab in Meridian; and Resilient Transport in Meridian.
Date and time of memorial service are still to be determined.
Janis: The “Doer”
If there’s one word that characterizes Janis Greer’s life, it’s activity. She was a doer, a person for whom movement and busyness seemed as necessary for life as breath itself. To be active was to be alive. She seemed to embrace with great alacrity the Proverb that says, “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Prov. 31:27).
You see, it’s hard to make, to create, to serve, to contribute, to help, when you’re idle. So, Janis avoided idleness as though it were a disease she would catch if she slowed down. And like a farmer whose sweat and toil in the fields produce food for his family, Janis’s busy life bore fruit for all who wandered into her world.
It was her hands, mainly—fingers blurring like hummingbird wings as she went about her work. Her house could never be too clean. In Mimi’s hands, a Swiffer was more than a cleaning tool. It was a weapon in the war on dust. She showed the enemy no quarter, and there were no survivors—at least none that anyone could see.
Those hands also cooked. And baked. And filled the house with enticing aromas—siren songs that deliciously shipwrecked many a diet. Mimi was particularly famous for her cinnamon rolls. Kneaded, rolled, left to rise, baked, and then glazed to perfection, they just might have been the only thing her grandchildren enjoyed at Christmas more than opening gifts!
Janis’s busyness took her outside the home as well. She and her husband Raymond volunteered at the Glen, an assisted living community in Shreveport, LA. She helped the ladies create crafts, while Raymond drove residents to the grocery store to stock up on vittles. Her neighbors remember her as helpful, thoughtful, and gracious with her time. After moving to Idaho, Janis served as deacon alongside her daughter Brenda at Christ Community Church.
Mimi could wield a paint brush, sewing machine, or spatula with equal aplomb. And when it came time to reach out to friends in need, she would create and write her own greeting cards. The phrase “artsy-crafty” was coined for Janis. Every Christmas, her daughters and their families still decorate their trees with ornaments handmade by Mimi: soft muslin rabbits, cinnamon-stick Santas, pipe-cleaner angels, beaded snowflakes. All conceived in Mimi’s mind and crafted by her nimble fingers.
Oh, there are two things that seemed to make her slow down: birds and crossword puzzles. She could observe birds for long stretches of time as they dipped into the birdbath, visited the feeder, or hopped across the yard. She would often call us to the window to watch with her, as she narrated the event. Janis refused to let a crossword puzzle get the best of her. After a spell of silent concentration, pencil poised, she would startle the household with, “Ya’ll, what’s a six-letter word for . . .”
Mimi’s hands are finally still. But the fruit of their labor lives on, as do all the memories we made with her. She will come to mind from time to time—when we bake a dessert we know we shouldn’t be eating, pluck up a greeting card from the display at Target, trim the tree at Christmas, take time to listen to a friend, or watch a red-breasted robin light on the fence.
Janis Ware Greer. Busy bee. Worker. Doer. Finally at rest. Finally home.
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