Walter Marion Greer Hilton Head Island artist Walter M. Greer passed away October 5, 2016. Born in Ware Shoals, SC, on August 11, 1920, he graduated from The Citadel in 1942. During World War II he captained an anti-aircraft gun through four campaigns in Europe, for which he was awarded a Bronze Star. After the war he graduated from Clemson University, Class of 1947. With his three brothers he founded the Texize Chemicals Corporation in Greenville, SC, and worked with the firm through 1958. His love of art overcame all other considerations and he enrolled in the Atlanta Art Institute (now Atlanta College of Art) in 1959 for a year of intensive study with Ben Shute and others, followed by study at the National Academy in New York City. He moved to Hilton Head Island in 1960 and became one of the first residents of Sea Pines as well as the first artist to live on the Island. He was one of twenty artists who founded the Artists' Associates Gallery in Atlanta in 1962. Greer taught art on Hilton Head, in Savannah, Beaufort, and Parris Island. He had one-man shows, lectured at Museums and for art groups over the Southeast, and initiated the Island's first exhibitions of art by prominent Southeastern artists at the William Hilton Inn. During his long residence on Hilton Head, he was involved with many local and state organizations: Hilton Head Historical Society, SC Arts Commission, Art League of Hilton Head, Hilton Head Community Playhouse, Round Table of Artists, Plaster Cast Playreaders, design committee for The Church at Meeting Street, All Saints Episcopal Church, Arts in Schools Program of the Island School Council, and the Architectural Review Board of Windmill Harbour. In 1996 the exhibition hall of the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina was named The Walter Greer Gallery and a year later a retrospective with 73 of his paintings was held in that gallery. Three brothers and three sisters pre-deceased him: Jack, Robert, and William K. Greer, Mary Cox, and Sara Sizemore, all of Greenville, and Ethel Cliatt of Laurens, SC. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Margaret McElveen Greer; children Walter Greer, Jr., of Bokeelia, Florida, John H. Greer of Vancouver, Washington, and Suzannah Gale of Lubec, Maine; stepchildren Jane Orr of South Berwick, Maine, and James L. Orr of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts; 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, October 26th, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 50 Pope Avenue, Hilton Head. Memorials may be sent to The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina Endowment Fund, 14 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head, or The Seabrook Foundation Fund, 300 Woodhaven Drive, Hilton Head, SC 29928.
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