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Obituary Archive

Mildred White Greear

Obituary Date: Tuesday 5th October 2021

Mildred White Greear left this world on September 25, 2021, after a long, eventful, and creative life.  Born on October 19, 1920, she spent her childhood in Laurel, Mississippi.  She lost her mother and father when she was 16 years old. Mildred was the last of her generation in the Greear family and the last of her generation in her natural family. She was predeceased by her husband, Philip F-C Greear and her siblings Lindsey White, Elise W. Cleveland, Marion White, and Tom White. She lost her daughter Missy G. Dillon in 1997.

She is survived by four children: Carol Britt G. Backus (Bob), Delbert P. T. Greear (Nancy), Margaret G. Oren (Tom) and Teressa G. Holtzclaw (Bill) and honorary daughters, Kelly Byron, Kelly Jarrels and Lindsey Messmore.  Along with her children she is survived by numerous and much-loved nieces and nephews on both the White and Greear sides of her family, a slew of grandchildren (11), and a whole kaboodle of great-grandchildren (15).

Despite the losses she suffered in childhood, she was the first in her family to attend college. After graduating from the University of Mississippi she began her teaching career, a profession for which she had a natural, life-long calling.  In 1943, in Gulfport Mississippi, she met and married Philip Greear, an Air Force Officer. Mildred taught in the White County Schools and later in the Floyd County Schools having great impact as a teacher.

Mildred deeply loved her adopted state of Georgia, and was known for her extraordinary energy and devotion to many causes including education (to her all children were gifted), equality of opportunity, and racial harmony.  She was a founding member of the Rome Council on Human Relations. She worked to protect the environment, especially the Georgia Barrier Islands. She and her husband Philip helped found the Genesis project, a movement that protected the islands of Georgia and was instrumental in establishing the Ossabaw Island Nature Preserve. 

After retirement from her teaching career, she refocused on her talent for writing poetry. She published a collection of her poems, Moving Gone Dancing, in 2007.  Her works were selected for publication in many state and national literary journals. She enjoyed teaching techniques for writing poetry in local schools and in poetry writing workshops across Georgia.

Her life will be celebrated at the Nacoochee Presbyterian Church, on November 13, at noon.  To share memories or condolences please leave a message at  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Georgia Conservancy.

Funeral Date
10/13/2021 at 12:00PM
Funeral Home
Barrett Funeral Home
(706) 865-3101
118 N Brooks St, Cleveland 30528