Eleanor “Toots” Griess, age 73, died at North Shore Manor in Loveland on June 4 after a valiant battle with cancer. Charlie Griess, her loving, devoted husband, was with her throughout her illness and as she took her last breath.
Toots was born March 11, 1941, in Medford, Wis. She was the daughter of Hazel Agnes Schallock and Leibrecht Albrecht Doehr. “Toots” was the nickname given to her by her uncle, who called her his “Tootsie Babe.”
Toots married Vernal William Weis in Spencer, Wis., on June 4, 1960. They had seven children, five boys and two girls. They moved to Loveland in July 1976.
Toots married the love of her life, Charles Edwin Griess, on July 29, 1989, and became stepmother to his seven children. They resided in Windsor.
Toots was a homemaker and farm wife until the move to Colorado. In Colorado, she had several jobs; the role that had the most meaning for her was with Meals on Wheels of Loveland, where she worked in several positions during her 30 years there. In the community, she will be remembered for bringing new and special flavors and baked specialties to the program. She will always be remembered for the ease and joy with which she led and prepared outstanding meals for hundreds of people on a daily basis. Her last position there as volunteer coordinator allowed her to shine in her talents of communication and organization. Toots always believed, “If you’re going to do something, do it right and with your whole heart and 100 percent effort.” She lived this and demonstrated it in her work and in her life.
Toots was deeply religious, a Sabbath keeper and Christian who “walked the walk” every moment of her life. Her faith defined her and gave her the strength and dignity to persevere, to the end and beyond.
In her life, there were a few things Toots valued greatly. They were not material possessions nor earthly riches, but rather living with purpose, enjoying special moments and appreciating fully life’s experiences, including honoring, loving and obeying Yahweh — and keeping His law; her very special relationship with Charlie; joy in seeing the growth and development of her children to success and happiness in adulthood; large gatherings of friends and family, with food, wine, appreciation and celebration — especially when she was the hostess, which was the majority of these times; as she said, “The way that Yahweh created things, so that when we put them together the way He intended, the result is very good and pleasing, a gift and a blessing for us.” She also enjoyed a good loaf of homemade bread; planting seeds and the resulting fruits of the earth that can be harvested and enjoyed; little birds; red meat, red wine and dark chocolate.
Toots is survived by her husband, Charlie; her sister, Rhea Mae Vogel; her seven children; seven stepchildren, 23 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her sister, Ellen.
There will be a Memorial of Toots’ life Tuesday. Toots was very specific about what she wanted for the celebration, and her wishes will be fulfilled as detailed below, ending with her request that she entertain her friends and family one more time with those things that mean so much to her: red wine, red meat and dark chocolate — and of course, great joy and celebration.
Visitation with Family and final respects from 10-11 a.m. at Marks Funeral Home, 9293 Eastman Park Drive in Windsor.
Burial and graveside service from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Lakeview Cemetery in Windsor.
The Celebration of Toots’ Life, with music, memories and a meal from 2-6 p.m. at Windsong Estate, 2901 Saddler Blvd. in Fort Collins. Northeast corner of Colo. 14 and Colo. 257.
If you would like to send flowers, please send them to Windsong Estate by 1 p.m. Tuesday.
However, Charlie and the family have offered the following as options, if you would prefer to make a donation in Toots’ memory, these organizations provide meaningful services which have had tremendous impact for many, including Toots.
Meals on Wheels in Loveland. Toots was part of this team for 30 years, employed there up until her illness began to limit her ability to work.
The family extends their sincere gratitude to all those who reached out with care and concern during Toots’ illness. Your love, visits and service provided in a myriad of ways were a tremendous blessing and will never be forgotten.