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Mary J. Greenland

January 13, 1952 - August 23, 2018

Mary J. Greenland, age 66, of Lincoln, entered into rest on Thursday, August 23, 2018. Mary Greenland was born in Loup City on January 13, 1952, to Tom and Mildred Greenland and was the youngest of three children. Along with her brother, Tom, and her sister, Margaret, she was raised on farms just outside of the Boelus community, attending elementary, middle school and two years of high school.

In 1968, she was enrolled as a high school junior at Platte Valley Academy in Shelton, and became part of a circle of friends that would endure throughout her lifetime. An outstanding scholar, Mary completed high school and then graduated from Union College with a degree in elementary education.

Her first teaching job took her to Sioux Falls, S.D., where she was the single teacher in a one-room school, grades 1-8. She then accepted a call to Helen Hyatt Elementary School (now College View Academy) as a sixth grade teacher, where she served for 34 years as a teacher and, eventually, the assistant principal.

Though she brooked no nonsense in her classroom, Mary's students loved her skill in explaining difficult concepts, her humor, and most of all, her stories about the farm and the life lessons she gleaned along the way. Her kindness and innate sense of justice helped her deal with even the most challenging students successfully. Many students brought their children to be taught by her, and it was a sad day for many when Mary announced her retirement in 2015, after 40 1/2 continuous years of teaching.

Her service to CVA did not end there, however. Mary decided to work part-time in the office as a receptionist and official “Band-Aid Queen,” soothing students who were hurt or sick, anticipating what teachers needed, and being the first smiling face encountered on the elementary campus.

She helped care for Margaret as she battled cancer and offered support and care to Tom through circumstances which included his paralysis and eventual death. Mary was an avid reader, informed and responsible citizen, and great conversationalist. Through the years, Mary also volunteered at College View Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church, Allon Chapel SDA Church, Lincoln Literacy, America's Great Stories and performed countless acts of kindness, giving generously to her community, friends, family and to worldwide causes.

A sudden health issue brought Mary to the hospital, and she passed away on Thursday, August 23, with her pastors and loving friends singing hymns, reciting scriptures and offering prayers as she breathed her last.

She was preceded in death by her entire immediate family. Left to mourn her loss and treasure the remembrance of her sparkling smile, effervescent humor and life of selfless service, are her sister-in-law, Jan Greenland, of Hastings; dear friend, Joann Herrington, of Lincoln; many beloved cousins and other family members from around the country, the CVA staff, students, and families; her College View and Allon Chapel families; Platte Valley Academy classmates, and countless friends from near and far.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, at College View SDA Church, 48th and Prescott, Pastors Michael Paradise and Terry Bock officiating. To honor Mary, wearing purple to the service is encouraged as her favorite team was the Minnesota Vikings. Luncheon will follow in the church fellowship hall. Burial will take place at Ebenezer Cemetery, just outside of Boelus, following lunch. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to College View Academy designated for Preschool through grade 8.

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