Michael Stephen Greer, 62, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, surrounded by loved ones at his home in Lafayette, Colorado.
A Celebration of Life gathering will be planned at a future date.
Michael was born on August 23, 1961, in Des Moines, Iowa, to Georgieanna (Nodland) and Gordon Greer. A graduate of Urbandale (Iowa) High School, he earned a BS in English and history from Iowa State University and an MA and PhD in English from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
He met his future wife, Brenda Hadenfeldt, at an academic conference in 1999, when he literally offered to carry her books for her. They were married on October 11, 2001, in Boulder, Colorado.
Michael was filled with kindness and compassion for others, often using his sense of humor to open up relationships and make people feel loved and heard. He stood out as an encouraging mentor and thoughtful leader, and he loved teaching—a passion he pursued in several university English and writing departments, most recently at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
He was an accomplished writer, notably co-authoring the 14th edition of The Little, Brown Handbook in 2018. His most recent book, Design for Learning, co-authored by Jenae Cohn, places him as one of the visionaries in online learning methodology. In addition, he worked in academic publishing as a trusted editor and was a former director of acquisitions and development at the National Council of Teachers of English. Michael strove to teach and inspire a new generation of educators to create fun and engaging online learning experiences for all students.
Michael’s life can also be marked by his dedication to the recovery community. He had more than 20 years of sobriety and was committed to living by the principles of the 12 Steps. By example and through one-on-one work, he helped many other people see a hopeful and joy-filled future for themselves.
Michael died after an extended period living with Stage 4 cancer, always maintaining his humor and grace. His curiosity and love of learning never faded. He enjoyed reading, writing, cooking, visiting northern New Mexico, and watching baseball, even in years when his team, the St. Louis Cardinals, did not fare so well.
He is survived by his wife, Brenda Hadenfeldt; his mother, Georgieanna Petrow of Erie, Colorado; his father and stepmother, Gordon and Kate Greer of Queenstown, Maryland; his sister, Nancy Duran of Urbandale, Iowa, and her children, Benjamin Duran of Norfolk, Virginia, and Olivia Duran of Chesapeake, Virginia; and stepsiblings, in-laws, extended family, and his cat, Taj. He was preceded in death by his grandparents and his stepfather, John Petrow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, the Longmont Humane Society, the CU Boulder-Collegiate Recovery Center Scholarship Fund, or any charity dedicated to helping people in need.