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-
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
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 https://www.barrettfh.com. In lieu of flowers,
contributions may be made to the Georgia Conservancy.