Michael D. Greiser, 74, passed away unexpectedly on January 26, 2024. Over a period of three years he had successfully undergone major spinal surgeries and was steadily recovering from the most recent procedure. He had been looking forward to once again making the neighbors’ pastures safe for cattle, taking road trips here in the Commonwealth and hunting in the fall.
Mike was born on August 7, 1949 in Charleston, West Virginia where he graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School. Immediately upon receipt of his diploma he left “West-by-God” to seek what he hoped would be an interesting life. This commenced with acceptance into the CIA’s courier training program. Upon discovering that he wasn’t cut out for this version of fun, travel and adventure he sought opportunities in the construction industry.
“Uncle Sam” had other plans which were modestly adjusted upon Mike’s enlistment in the Army in August 1969. He trained as an intelligence analyst—was fate steering him back to the starting point?--and served in the Southern Command, initially stationed at Ft. Amador and later with the Special Forces at Ft. Gulick, both in the Republic of Panama. While assigned to the Special Forces he was a finalist for Soldier of the Month and received the third highest score Army-wide when qualifying for promotion to E5. He completed his tour of duty at Ft. Bragg and was honorably discharged in February 1972 as an E5.
The military’s educational benefits enabled him to pursue a degree at Texas A & M University. With this and the additional advantages of transfer credits, year-round enrollment and a part-time job related to his major course of study he was able to complete those studies without accruing debt. His chosen curriculum, civil engineering, took many as much as five years to finish, but he was able to graduate in 3 ½ years. He was awarded a B. S. in December 1975 and also was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi national honor society. The State of Texas granted him registration as a Professional Engineer in 1981.
He returned to the construction industry, progressing from designing and field engineering to project management. He retired in 2004. His career took him to job sites, mostly in the western U. S. but also to the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. Training and advancing the careers of hardworking staff and knowing that his completed projects had fulfilled all contractual terms with minimal impacts from claims were the sources of much gratification. The admiration of clients was the “icing on the cake”.
For nearly a decade, he managed to find the time to be a competitive pistol shooter, participating in area matches in several western states and once in Canada, rarely failing to place or win as a Class A competitor. In his initial year of competition he qualified for and competed in his only national match at which he was pleased to finish in the top 10%. His work obligations and near-yearly re-locations made it impossible to repeat this challenging experience.
Upon settling into Craig County he felt that he had found his “final country”. The hours spent still-hunting, reading or merely reclining in the living room to watch the many birds—fondly referred to as “air pigs”--feeding at well-stocked feeders gave him peace and satisfaction with his life. Gourmet dinners, whether enjoyed at home alone with his wife or shared with friends, were another source of joy.
He is survived by his wife, Lee. The couple would have celebrated their 54th anniversary on Groundhog Day. Per his final instructions there will not be a funeral or memorial service and his ashes will be scattered to the winds per his wish. And, yes, it was an interesting life.