Karen Kay Greer
February 12, 1940 – April 6, 2021
Karen Kay Richie Greer joined God’s heavenly orchestra on April 6, 2021 from her home in Conroe, Texas following a long illness. Karen was born on February 12, 1940 in Kansas City, Kansas to Ophelia Elmerine Lovell and Elmer Lindsey Richie. Karen was an only child. Her parents strongly supported her early interest in music. Ultimately, she became a professional musician and teacher. Karen’s primary skill was with the percussion instruments. Her favorite was the marimba but she played all other percussion instruments having a keyboard. Karen also played drums, tympani, cymbals, gongs and the like. She occasionally played quasi-percussion instruments dreamed up by modern composers such as mixing bowls, steel plates, sandpaper, glass bottles, typewriters and guns. It was said that if the instrument could be hit with itself, a mallet, stick or hand, she played it. Her talent was so apparent that at the age of 15 while still in high school, she became a part-time member of the Kansas City (Missouri) Philharmonic, a major national orchestra at the time. At 20 years of age, Karen joined the orchestra as a full-time member. When the Philharmonic was not in season, she played with the Lyric Opera Company and the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City. She played in many venues other than the formal concert hall and was a temporary member of the orchestras of many famous and diverse performers including Jack Benny, Andy Williams, Henry Mancini, Roger Williams, Moody Blues, Cab Calloway, Glen Campbell and Barry White. Because of her ability to sight-read music without extensive rehearsal, Karen played in the pit orchestras for many traveling Broadway shows that came through Kansas City such as Pippin. A Chorus Line and Oklahoma. In later years, Karen played with the Kansas City Symphony when an extra percussion player was required. She taught private percussion lessons to a multitude of students and occasionally taught general music in public schools as a substitute teacher. Once she was the organizer and leader of an English Handbell choir called the “Dig-a-Lings”. They played for community religious services and other events connected to the local school district in Kansas.
Karen was educated in the public schools of Johnson County, Kansas. She was graduated from the Kansas City Conservatory of Music which is now part of the University of Missouri at Kansas City. In 1965, she met and married her husband, Walter Lee Greer, in Kansas City, Kansas. In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Walter Lindsey of Montgomery, Texas, his wife, Christie (Dillard), and grandchildren, Nathan and Cydney. Karen also is survived by a second son, James Dupree of Ft. Worth, Texas, his wife, Mieke (Keller), and grandchildren, Peyton and Palmer. Karen was preceded in death by her parents and one grandchild. Karen was totally devoted to her sons. She followed closely all their activities in school, athletics and scouting. Walter and James both were Webelos as Cubs and later Eagle Scouts partially because of her encouragement and her participation in volunteer leadership positions. In many ways, she facilitated their acquisition of post-graduate degrees.
Karen and her family lived in several locations in the United States because of Walter’s work. Upon his retirement, the couple decided to settle in the Conroe area in 2006 to be near their son. Karen quickly became interested in the all-volunteer Conroe Symphony Orchestra and played in the percussion section until Covid interrupted the 2019-20 season. In 2013, she was presented with the Anne and Lavoy Moore Award of Excellence for her musical and administrative service to the orchestra.
Memorial donations made to the Conroe Symphony Orchestra, 1500 North Frazier Street, Conroe, TX, 77301 would have been appreciated by Karen very much.
A visitation for Karen will be held Thursday, April 8, 2021 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Metcalf Funeral Directors, 1801 E White Oak Terrace, Conroe, Texas. A celebration of life will occur Friday, April 9, 2021 at 10:00 AM in the Metcalf Memorial Chapel.
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- Ophelia Elmerine Lovell, Mother (deceased)
- Elmer Lindsey Richie, Father (deceased)
- Walter Lee Greer, Husband
- Walter Lindsey Greer and wife Christie, Son
- James Dupree Greer and wife Mieke, Son
- Nathan and Cydney Greer, Grandchildren
- Peyton and Palmer Greer, Grandchildren
- Numerous other relatives, friends and colleagues are also left to cherish her memory.
- Conroe Symphony Orchestra
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Celebration of Life
Friday, April 9, 2021
Karen Kay Greer
April 8, 2021
Dear Walter and family,
I was so saddened to hear Karen has passed but she has left many happy memories with all who have had the privilege to know her. I’ve only known her the last few years through community gatherings but so enjoyed her warm smile and conversation. She will be dearly missed and my heart goes out to you and your family but her memory will be ever lasting.
Bob and Dana Vantuyl
April 6, 2021
Dear Walter, Walter Jr., James, and family,
Dana and I are saddened to think of life without Karen. We will always enjoy our memories of dinners and gatherings with all the love and laughter. Many of these events found the women on one side of the house and the men on the other side enjoying our common experiences and friendships. Karen always brought sunshine to the table and will be truly missed by many. We are honored to have been a part of Karen's life with you.
We know Karen is resting without pain with the big orchestra in the sky.
Love always, Bob and Dana