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Ethel Merle “Tommy” Greer, 103, of Aledo, died peacefully Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at Brookstone of Aledo, where she had lived since 2012. Graveside services will be Saturday at 1:00 PM at Viola Cemetery. Visitation is Saturday from 10 AM to 12 PM at Speer Funeral Home, Aledo. Memorials may be made to the Mercer County Relay for Life or the Aledo United Methodist Church.
Tommy was born on January 18, 1916, in Preemption Township, the daughter of George and Lela Nesbitt Smith. She graduated from Viola High School in 1935. She was married March 13, 1937, in a Methodist parsonage in Viola to the late Lee E. “Boze” Greer of Seaton. He died on September 21, 1978.
Tommy was a well-known retired Aledo businesswoman. She worked at the former Ben Franklin variety store, then Bjorkman's Paint Store, and finally for 42 years at Brown Lynch Scott, a hardware store that later became Martha Brown Limited, a women’s clothing store. She was the first female manager at Brown Lynch Scott.
She served as first ward alderman on the Aledo City Council for 24 years and mayor pro-tem after the death of Tom Reay, becoming the first woman to serve as Aledo’s mayor. Her term as alderman was from May 4, 1981, until April 30, 2005. She served as acting mayor from Oct. 24, 1990, until April 30, 1991. She was a longtime chairwoman of the council’s cemetery committee and spearheaded the development of its adjacent Memorial Park and shelter.
In 2004, she received the Ageless Achiever Award from the Mercer County Senior Center and was recognized as Outstanding Board Member of the Year by Illinois State Crime Stoppers.
Tommy was the first female president of the Aledo Merchant Organization, which became the Aledo Chamber of Commerce. She was active in several community organizations, including the Mercer County Senior Center, Mercer County Recycling Board and Mercer County Crime Stoppers Board. Other organizations in which she served included the Youth Service Bureau, Mercer County Women’s Republican Club and the American Red Cross. She was a member of Aledo United Methodist Church, Oak View Country Club and Chapter 126 of the Order of the Eastern Star. She enjoyed golfing, bowling, playing cards and socializing with family and friends.
Most recently, she was able to attend the 84th all-class reunion for Viola High School at Town and Country Restaurant in Aledo on August 10.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by a brother, Harold, in his youth; four sisters, including twins Julia and Margarite Smith, who died at birth, Lola Smith Strine and husband John Strine, and Helen Smith Stephens and her husband Gerald Stephens; and a nephew and his wife, Jim Stephens and Barbara Whan Stephens.
Surviving are two nieces, Dixie Strine (Bill) Krueger of Delray Beach, Fla., and Judie Stephens (Ronnie) Bonynge of Andalusia, and many great-nieces and nephews; great-great-nieces and nephews; and great-great-great nieces and nephews.
Saturday, August 24, 2019
10:00am - 12:00pm (Central time)
Speer Funeral Home
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Starts at 1:00pm (Central time)
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