Greathouse helped set stage for family members

Laurie Stone: PNT Correspondent

Name: Delores Greathouse
Born: Jan. 15, 1924
Died: Sept. 18, 2005
Preceded in death by: Her parents.
Survived by: Her husband; a son, Neil Greathouse (and wife, Katherine) of Willow Park, Texas; two daughters, Cheryl Flagg (Ken) of Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Elaine Fallis (Jerre) of Wichita Falls, Texas; five grandchildren, Kara Staggs, Rana, Jada and Brit Greathouse, and Amanda Fallis; a great-grandchild, Mariah Staggs; a brother, C. B. Strebeck (Marjorie) of Clovis; a sister-in-law, Deanne Dickson of Lubbock; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Delores Greathouse lived her life believing that she had a higher purpose to fulfill in life. According to family members, she broke through in the unfolding of her own gift within herself, which left behind a legacy of appreciation in those who are following in her footsteps today.

Ruth Delores Greathouse died Sept. 18, 2005, at the age of 81. After a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, her heart gave out due to severe heart damage.

Cheryl Flagg, Delores Greathouse’s daughter, said, her mother set the stage for her and family members throughout their lives.

“We were like unformed people that she helped to blossom and develop,” Flagg said. “In the areas we were growing, she provided us with opportunities which enabled us to grow in our own talents and skills through music, voice lessons, education and the example she set for us.”

Greathouse was repeatedly referred to as, ‘a woman with an abundance of energy.’ She did not believe in wasting time, therefore, she filled every moment with some type of activity whether it was visiting friends, traveling, actively working or writing out cards to people. She had many hobbies which included, gardening, crocheting, sewing and painting.

“Painting was a real outlet for her,” Flagg said. “It’s a mystery to us all the places where she painted since she didn’t paint at home. There is no sign of her love of art where she lived except for all the pieces that she completed.”

Delores Greathouse was born Jan. 15, 1924, in Newton County, Miss., to Sidney George and Ruth (Johnson Strebeck). She moved to Artesia at the age of 10 and graduated from Artesia High School in 1942. Greathouse was a freshman at Eastern New Mexico Junior College when she met her roommate’s brother, Frank Greathouse Jr. After two years of chasing after the woman he loved, according to Frank, they married on June 29, 1944, in Artesia. They lived on the family farm in Rogers until 1988 when they moved to Portales. The couple was married for 61 years and had three children together. Greathouse graduated from ENMJC (now known as ENMU) and received her masters alongside her daughter Cheryl Flagg in 1968. She was a first grade teacher at Three Way School in Maple, Texas, until she retired in 1988.

Nancy Ridgely, a friend of Delores Greathouse’s for 50 years, said that Greathouse was an admirable person that she enjoyed joking and kicking around with.

“She would surprise you with the things that came out of her mouth,” Ridgely said. “She was a lot of fun.”

Greathouse was a lifelong Methodist and a member of the United Methodist churches in Inez and Portales. She was also a member of the Portales Women’s Club.