Edward Bernard Greco, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, died December 25, 2022 in Sonoma, California. He was 92.
Ed passed away in his home and “castle” with his family by his side following a months long struggle with lung cancer, despite having been a non-smoker his whole life. He lived in Sonoma for 35 years with his much loved wife, Betty Anne.
In a career that spanned four and a half decades, including military service in the Naval Reserve and National Security Agency (1953-1959), Ed held six different positions marketing educational film products (1960-1979), surgical products (1979-1987), and health care insurance (1987-1997). Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Ed graduated with honors from Franklin K. Lane High School, where he was elected class president. From 1949 to 1952 he attended State University of New York at New Paltz where he received his BS degree with distinction, and from 1952 to 1953 attended Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, where he received his MS degree in Audiovisual Instructional Technology. Ed retired to his cherished Creekside Village home in Sonoma in 1997.
Ed was a proud first generation Italian American, the son of Italian immigrants who were makers of wooden musical instruments and cabinets by trade. Early in life, at the age of 4, Ed faced life challenges when his mother, Carmela, died of rheumatic heart failure. He was raised in Brooklyn by his father, Emilio Greco, his step mother, Pipinel, and an extended family who lived nearby, including his uncle and aunt, Pasquale (Pat) and Carmela (Nellie) D’Alessandro. Ed had one older sister, Lucy, and an older brother, Bernard, all predeceased, and is survived by his younger brother, George.
Ed was married to his beloved wife of 69 years, Betty Anne. They married at “The Little Church Around the Corner” (The Church of the Transfiguration — an Episcopal church) in New York City on December 31, 1953. They lived in Washington D.C. and Maryland during his military service years. His audio-visual degree helped him gain a position on a team training crypto-analysts for the NSA. During this time Ed and Betty had two daughters, Patricia Emily and Louise Anne.
Following military service in 1960 the family moved to Brooklyn to be closer to both families. He joined his father and brother, Bernie, in customizing the then very popular stereo-TV cabinets and hardware. Concurrently, he consulted with Coronet Educational Films, where he helped school administrators see the advantages of applying for grants under Titles 1 and 3 of the National Defense Education Act (NDEA). He then was offered and accepted the role of Northeast Regional Manager for Coronet (1960-1969). While living in Brooklyn Ed and Betty had a son in 1962, Steven Emil, and in 1964 the family moved to Roslyn, New York, a suburb of New York City. While in Roslyn, Ed and Betty made life-long friendships with the Gerardi family (Kathleen and George and their children) and the Adams family (Ginette and Maurice and their children), among others. Ed’s success at Coronet came as an offer to be National Sales Manager for Sterling Educational Films (1969-1976). The Hearst Corporation then offered Ed the opportunity to help edit, organize, and distribute the Screen News Digest to all public schools while being the director of marketing and sales of educational film products (1976-1979). This job introduced Ed to international marketing of educational film products and he traveled to many locations including Germany, Sweden, Iran, and Japan.
In 1979, parlaying his talents, Ed made a career shift towards marketing surgical instruments. He accepted an offer from Beaver Surgical Instruments to be Vice President and head of marketing. Ed and Betty Anne then moved to Waltham, Massachusetts, to take the new position and be closer to Betty’s family. He headed a team of marketing professionals in the national and international realms, including trips to Japan, Taiwan, and Australia as well as helping to set up a new manufacturing plant in Brazil in the early 1980s. It was at Beaver Surgical where he met and recruited colleague Wayne Aruda, who remained a life-long close friend and confidant. In 1985 he accepted a similar marketing position working for Luxtec Medical Fiber Optics in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, where Ed and Betty relocated to until 1987 when they decided to move to Sonoma, California, to be closer to their daughter, Emily and son, Steven. Once again, Ed channeled his marketing talents and took a position with the Contra Costa County Health Services Department as a Senior Account Representative for the Contra Costa Health Plan, where he worked for 10 years and then retired.
Ed and Betty Anne were intrepid travelers to many countries in all but two continents on planet Earth (they regrettably did not make it to Africa and Antarctica). Often the trips included the whole family. Some notable trips were to New Hampshire, Ohio, California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, New Jersey, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Hawaii, and Alaska. Many memorable vacations were spent with the Gerardi family on Fire Island and upstate New York. Several trips were made to Europe visiting Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Great Britain, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Switzerland. In the Americas, trips were made to Mexico, Guatemala, and Brazil. In Asia, they traveled to Japan, Taiwan, China, and South Korea. Downunder, they visited Australia.
Personally, Ed had many varied interests and hobbies including language arts (he spoke English, Italian and Spanish fluently and studied Russian and Portuguese). He greatly enjoyed the art of photography (building several darkrooms in his lifetime) and was an electronics enthusiast as a youth. Woodworking and building/construction were also much enjoyed hobbies. Ed loved food and cuisine from around the globe, and of course, enjoyed fine wine. A true champion of progressive politics, Ed possessed a keenly open-mind and relished conversation. He loved to listen to music, especially Frank Sinatra and Baroque classical composers.
Raised Catholic, Ed appreciated the ceremonial pageantry as a young alter boy in the church. But as he grew to know the greater world, his religious views broadened and evolved to embrace a more inclusive, ethical humanist approach.
Ed is preceded in death by his parents, Carmela and Emilio Greco; his step mom, Pipinel Greco; his aunt and uncle, Carmela and Pasquale D’Alessandro; his first brother Bernard, who died tragically as an infant; his sister, Lucy Vitale; his brother, Bernard (“Bernie”) Greco. He is survived by his beloved wife, Betty Anne Greco; his children, Emily Greco, Louise Anne (“Luanne”) Greco, and his son, Steven Emil Greco and his wife, Lolita Echeverria-Greco. Ed is also survived by his younger brother, George Greco and his wife, Antionette Greco; and his grandchildren: Christopher Edward Johnson (Emily Greco), his wife Sadie Johnson and their children, Cameron Wesley Johnson and Adam William Johnson (Ed’s great grandchildren); Mia Alexandra Johnson (Emily Greco); and “Jack” Luna Greco (Steven Greco).
A private memorial service was held on January 28, 2023 at his home in Creekside Village in Sonoma.
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