John was born in Waterloo, Iowa, a son of the late John and Harriet (Mussett) Greelis. He was raised in Waterloo, Iowa, where he graduated from high school. Subsequently, John proudly served his nation in the United States Army. Upon his return he attended University of Northern Iowa where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
John married the love of his life, Ella T. (Quillan) Greelis, April 7, 1956. Together, they settled in Hudson in 1980 with stops in Sudbury, Scotland, Freeport, Illinois, Cedar Falls and Lawler, Iowa along the way.
John worked as a systems analyst for Honeywell before he eventually retired.
John was a true patriarch to his family. His kind, generous nature, thoughtfulness and caring ways towards others served as a great role model to his children and grandchildren whom he adored more than anything. He was an avid gardener, photographer, and took meticulous care of his home and property. John made sure every family member had presents under the tree at Christmas time. A true family man, he took care of everyone around him.
John also enjoyed playing the guitar and listening to country music. He loved all things Irish and was a diehard fan of the Boston Celtics and New England Patriots. John spent time in Hudson at the Senior Center, where he also taught computer classes. He also enjoyed woodworking and photography. John lived a bright and exemplary life. He was an amazing father whose legacy lives on through the examples he set for the generations that follow in his footsteps.
John leaves behind his four children, Cindy J. Woodbury and her husband Mark of Hudson, Jack P. Greelis and his partner Jeannie Bentley of Carlsbad, Calif., Dave L. Greelis and his wife Jean of Pepperell, and Kathy A. Kaminski and her husband Chad of Marlborough; seven grandchildren, Tara (Woodbury) Sullivan, Kristen Woodbury, Kyle Woodbury, Sean Bentley, Justin Greelis, Sam Greelis, and Ryan Greelis; two great-grandchildren, Chloe and Harvey Sullivan; and two siblings, Rosalie Humpal and her husband Richard and Jerry Greelis and his wife Georgia. In addition to his wife and parents, John was also predeceased by his sister, Mary Reynier.
Friends and relatives gathered May 27 at Forestvale Cemetery in Hudson, where John was laid to rest beside his beloved wife, Ella. Tighe Hamilton Regional Funeral Home assisted with his arrangements.