Ed Greaves lived a life of dedication to his loved ones and chosen involvements. Love for his fellow man and, perhaps most important, an underlying sense of perspective and humor, made everyone who knew him very proud of that friendship.
Ed arrived at Amherst from Sayville (Long Island) High School and the Great South Bay where he learned sailing skills and acquired a lifelong love of the sea. At Harvard Business School he graduated with distinction and achieved Baker Scholar recognition. While starting out in the large corporate world, Ed’s career evolved to smaller, more entrepreneurial involvements as operator, investor, consultant or board member. It was here he felt most challenged, and most able to get an idea or new technology up and running.
Ed’s wife, Connie Greaves Bates, remembers, “Life with Ed Greaves was an adventure. It started with our first year of marriage, 1960, in Watertown, Mass., when Ed was completing his second year of Harvard Business School. From there our life continued in Tulsa, Okla., for eight years, where our three lovely daughters, Jennifer, Carolyn and Tricia, were born.”
Those daughters have written the following: “Among many things, our father instilled in us a love for music, spirituality, the Maine coast, great compassion for those less fortunate and service to others. His extreme financial generosity made it easier for each of us to more comfortably pursue careers dedicated to service.” Jennifer is a social worker, Carolyn is a transpersonal psychologist, and Tricia is the founder of a non-profit helping others with eating disorders and addictions.
“We’ve all benefited from Dad’s example of balancing professional success with spiritual growth and recreation,” Ed’s daughters continue. “Our father also gave us a beautiful example of what a loving husband is,so we’d recognize one when we found one (which we all have!). Raising us to be the women we are, and in whom he was so proud, required ample growing pains for Dad.
“To his credit, our father sought to grow and change in ways that enabled him to be the understanding and compassionate father we needed and were fortunate to have. Every day, the effects of his love, generosity and faith continue to bless us all.”
The family returned to the East Coast in 1969 to spend 23 years in Concord, Mass. But, Connie recalls, “Our Maine associations have been the highlights of our life. In 1991, Ed and I became Maine residents with a condo in Portland and a new house in Addison.”
From that base they pursued Ed’s avid love of cruising the Maine and Nova Scotia coast aboard his yacht, Caritas. His undying faith in God and trust in his fellow man led him to the Maine Seacoast Missionary Society in Bar Harbor. The Mission is a multi-faceted community support effort serving the mostly rural, economically challenged coastal area of Downeast Maine and its outlying islands. Ed served 10 years as president of the board and spearheaded funding efforts and the expansion of social services.
After Ed died, The Maine Times nicely summarized his efforts: "He brought his enormous talents to a sleepy organization, but without rocking the Sunbeam, the good ship that brought ministers and a good meal to islanders. He worked tirelessly at all of the chores. A new Sunbeam, a more active ministry, a refurbished seaman’s chapel downeast, all accomplished before the organization recognized the value of this gentleman from away. He was an unassuming giant at a time in our history when there are very few others."
Ed’s legacy with the Maine Seacoast Mission happily has continued. Connie reports that “EdGE (Ed Greaves Education), a program for the youth of Washington County in downeast Maine, one of the poorest in the country, is an in-school, afterschool summer program for 4th through 8th grades.”
Ed's dream, Connie continues, was to help these disadvantaged children though experiential learning to build skills, character and leadership. It was through the generosity of Ed's Amherst roommate that this dream was launched in 2002 with a generous initial gift and has been supported by other Amherst friends and many others, known and unknown, who recognize the impact of this significant program. EdGE was chosen in October 2006 out of 37 state-helped after-school programs as the most outstanding. EdGE is now in six schools and in June 2007 celebrated its fifth anniversary.
Ed spoke fondly of his Amherst years and how they essentially launched him for a fulfilling life. “He cherished his Amherst friendships and will be with you all, in spirit, at the 50th reunion.”
Edward Stanley Greaves succumbed to cancer July 14, 2001.
|Ed and the ladies, at the Basin Harbor Club in|
Vergennes, Vt., where the family was celebrating Ed
and Connie’s 40th wedding anniversary, 10 months
before Ed died; (l. to r.) Carolyn, Tricia, Connie, Ed
|Close-hauled, slicing through the icy waters of|
Penobscot Bay, Maine