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Following a very lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease, Bethany Smith Greig passed away quietly on Feb. 21, in her home, with youngest daughter and her loving, devoted husband Thomas at her side. She was surrounded by her favorite family photos and memories.
Born in Rochester, New York and raised in Bangor, Maine along with two brothers and three sisters, she graduated from Bangor High School, where she met the love of her life Thomas Greig. They were married in 1958 and from that moment on were inseparable.
They moved to Connecticut in the early ’60s to follow Tom’s teaching career, settling in Clinton and raising their three children.
Bethany was an accomplished pianist and musician with the rare gift of perfect pitch. Music was always a very large part of her family’s life and was shared in her patiently and encouragingly way with all her piano students. She treasured all her students and relished every year in their recitals. She had the ability to transpose any piece on sight.
Bethany’s talent also extended to the church organ when filling in for many organists. Her oldest daughter remembers coming into the sanctuary while she was practicing for a service and finding her playing from memory Toccata and Fugue in D minor, just for fun. And no one, as both daughters concur, however accomplished, played the “Moonlight Sonata” with more emotion than she could.
She was well known for her decorating of the church sanctuary every Christmas, listening for hints all year long to find the perfect gift for those she loved, picking the biggest, most perfect fresh tree for her home as she always kept Christmas well in her heart.
When Tom retired from teaching, they traveled all over the U.S. in their various RVs, visiting every state, the southwest being one of her favorite destinations, along with trips to Scotland, Europe, and the Suez Canal. Bethany loved gift shopping everywhere she went, while Tom patiently waited outside. Their home is filled with all her treasures as reminders of places she loved.
Her ever-present camera caught her family at their best most natural selves. She brought her children up believing anything was possible—even on a low budget.
She was beloved by her grandchildren; upon their arrival she was their #1 choice in companionship.
Bethany is survived by her husband Tom; her daughters, Karen Wood and husband Godfrey and Robin G. Fox; grandchildren, Bethany and Tyler Nash, Erin and Erik Rapp, and Brian and Kate Rajotte; six great-grandchildren, Kelsey, Thomas, Liam, Alice, Joanna, and Bennett; sisters, Meryl, Penny, and Holly; and brother Dan. She is predeceased by her son Alan and brother Tony.
A celebration of life will take place at a later date when safer for all to participate.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: Donation Processing The Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014 www.michaeljfox.org/donate or The First Church of Christ Clinton, 55 Church Road, Clinton CT 06413 (860-669-5735).
For online condolences, please visit Swan Funeral Home Clinton, www.dignitymemorial.com.