John M. Greig, 30, farmer, attempted to save Eldon A. Bonnicksen from suffocation, Estherville, Iowa, May 25, 1965. (See case of ELDON A. BONNICKSEN.)
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John Morse Greig, 83, of Estherville, Iowa, died on Feb. 24, 2018, at the Mayo Clinic Hospital, Methodist Campus, in Rochester, Minn. Greig, the son of Jno. E. and Florence (Morse) Greig, was born on July 3, 1934, in Estherville. On Aug. 3, 1958, he married the former Connie Kint at the United Methodist Church in Estherville.
Grieg received his education in the Estherville schools, graduating from high school in 1952. He received a degree with an emphasis in business and finance from the University of Minnesota in 1956. While at the U of M, Greig was a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or ROTC. He was a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. After graduation, he served two years in the Army as a first lieutenant, first at Ordnance Basic Officer Training School at Aberdeen, Md., graduating first in his class, and later completing his tour of duty at Fort Hood, Texas. During the Berlin crisis in the fall of 1961, Grieg was recalled to active duty and served four months at Fort Lewis, Washington.
He also went to Iowa State University College of Agriculture, where, in 1960, he received his master’s degree in animal production, with an emphasis in ruminant nutrition.
Greig managed Greig and Company in association with his father and his brother, Hugh. The role of president of was passed to Grieg from his father, and then to his son, Joe. While farming, Greig was asked to make presentations on topics dealing with livestock production and nutrition throughout the country, and he testified before Congress on occasion. He served on the USDA Grains and Forage Crops committee, as well as conducting feedlot research for American Breeders Service, Eli Lilly, and others.
He was a director and proud founder of North Star Bank in Estherville, which opened on April 1, 1997. He served as chairman of the board of directors for many years. Greig also was a member of the founding board of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, and he served as its third president in 1975 and 1976. He chaired the Environmental Committee for many years, and he served on the executive committee of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
In 1965, Greig received the Carnegie Hero medal for rescuing a man who had lost consciousness from fumes in a well pit. He was appointed to serve on the Iowa Board of Regents from 1985 to 1991.
In 1990, he and his wife were inducted into the Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame, presented by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. In 1992, they were inducted into the Animal Science Hall of Fame, presented by the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University. In 1994, Greig received the Floyd Andre Award for distinguished service to agriculture, presented by Iowa State University. In 1998, the Greig family received the Midwest Environmental Stewardship Award, presented by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, recognizing cattlemen whose natural resources stewardship practices contribute to the environment and enhance productivity and profitability. In 2017, Greig and his wife were awarded the Iowa Farm Bureau Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award.
On Oct. 8, 1987, he received a liver transplant at Mayo Clinic; he observed this date as his “second birthday.” Ever the pioneer, John was patient number 114 for this procedure and it required a stay of several months.
At the suggestion of the governor, Greig ran for the Iowa Legislature and served 1992 to 1998. He was chairman of the House Ethics Committee, vice chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and vice chairman of the joint Budget Committee on Education.
(Edited from an obituary published by the Estherville News on Feb. 28, 2018.)