‘The world is a lesser place without him’: Friends and family reflect on the loss of Mike Greer
The 82-year-old has a legacy that reaches far and wide
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A true West Texas leader is gone, and it will be hard to forget his impact. On Wednesday, Mike Greer of Ransom Canyon died at the age of 82.
“It’s hard not to cry constantly, because half of me is gone now,” his wife Marti Greer said. “But it’s also lovely in that, everything that we strived to do came around, the people that we gave love to came back to us.”
The couple met through the sport of triathlon, one that they would go on to pioneer as we know it today. Greer remembers her husband as a “positive” person and a “force of nature.”
They were married for 23 years.
“His zest for life, his zest for living and exploring new options just opened doors, “ she said. “He was always looking for the next best way to improve something. He had an idea and he’d count on me to implement the idea. I think it worked because we had such love for each other and love for what we were doing.”
Greer was a lifelong athlete, starting out as a running back on the Littlefield High School football team, to a 44-time marathon runner, and later finding a love for triathlons so strong, he would go on to complete 400 of them.
The 82-year-old founded what would become the IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon at Buffalo Springs Lake, and now Lubbock.
The couple welcomed the organization in taking their project to the next level.
“It just meant that we could take our own event, beyond our own lifetimes and keep it here. Keep it here in Lubbock,” Greer said.
It has become a staple event bringing in some of the top athletes from around the country and the world.
Last month, Mike Greer was on his way to the 31st annual triathlon when his motorcycle hit a curb, causing him to crash.
“The impact was more damaging than we knew. He had a lot of broken bones and we honestly thought that he survived it,” Marti Greer said.
Marti says he fought to get better every day, until the very end, but the trauma was too much.
Greer is also remembered as a mentor, helping to sponsor the Texas Tech triathlon team back in the mid 2000s.
“My connection with Mike and getting involved in triathlon, it completely reshaped my life,” former head coach Charlie Gremillion said. “The guy was just fascinating, and he loved pouring into people. But he had something to pour into people because he had this interesting life.”
Gremillion says there are so many others like him, whose lives have been changed by Greer.
“This world needs a lot more people like him. The world is a lesser place without him. I wish we had him back,” Gremillion said
“I’ve never met anyone like him. He had just a genuine love,” Marti Greer said.
There will be a 31-mile memorial ride in his honor this upcoming Saturday, July 24.
Greer will be laid to rest on Monday, July 26 at the Sanders Funeral Home.
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