Keith Francis Greeney died at his home in Rhinebeck on Friday morning, July 29, 2022. He was born in Utica, Oneida County, NY, on October 5, 1942.
Keith is survived by his wife, Donna Zulch; his sons: Andrew (Nina), Lewis Greeney, and Keith Mulhern (Candace Lynch). Also surviving are three of his siblings: Mary Bonney, Carole Bingley and Ron Greeney (Jane); his two grandsons: Nollie Greeney and Marcus Greeney; many nieces and nephews; and his in-laws, Noreen Zulch (Nancy Ortega) and George Zulch.
He was predeceased by his parents, Harrison Greeney and Teresa (Soriano) Greeney-Reed-Lopez, as well as eight other siblings: Lewis, John, Cynthia, Faith, Esther, Bob, Jim and Linda.
Keith graduated from Rome Free Academy in 1962 and SUNY Albany in 1966 and 1972 with a BS degree in Accounting and Business Education and an MS in Educational Administration.
In 1968 Keith moved to Dutchess County, accepting a position at the Dutchess County BOCES Educational Center. He was a very gifted teacher and was also very active in the New York State Teachers' Union (NEA) where he was the NYS Chairman of the Human Relations-Minority Involvement Committee (NEA/NY). Keith was always a mover and a shaker, in everything he did.
In 1972 Keith married Joan Russell and they had two children, Lewis and Andrew, before divorcing in 1990. Keith was a devoted father, having unconditional love for his boys.
In November 1991 Keith met Donna Zulch, his "crown jewel." They married on April 8, 1995 at The Church of the Messiah in Rhinebeck where they were both congregants and where Keith was a hard-working vestry member during that time. Their beautiful snowy-day reception was at the Mohonk Mountain House and they honeymooned in Mexico.
Keith had great pride in the two beautiful homes that he built for Donna and himself on Rhinebeck's Old Post Road in 1995-6 and 2004-5. His many talents are showcased in the stone walls and gardens that he constructed or designed, on both properties.
He grew garlic each year by the hundreds and everyone loved July Fourth when Keith would harvest and share his crop with friends and family. The rest was stored until next season and Keith, who was a wonderful cook, would use it throughout the year.
Keith was a savvy businessman and real estate entrepreneur, and always knew a good deal! He would share this expertise and often helped others who asked for guidance with their hunt for a home.
He was the man that everyone went to for advice and information on just about anything and he took enormous pleasure in being helpful. Keith was beyond generous with his resources, time and abundant talents.
Donna and Keith traveled throughout the world for many years, until the pandemic. It was a huge passion, (which Keith began with solo travels as a teen), having amazing adventures in almost every corner of the globe.
Keith shared this great love with others and often organized trips for the Italian Center in Poughkeepsie, where he was a member for many decades, as well as for the Church of the Messiah. It would be hard to say which was his favorite country, but he had a penchant for Italy and visited there many times.
Keith had a passion for genealogy and did primary research from New York State into Canada, for almost forty years. When he told his multitude of stories about the Greeney clan, it was as though he had met every single one of the characters in the huge family-tree tome that he created, complete with photos, news clippings and references.
This interest in genealogy spilled over into history, in general, and he was a member of the Rhinebeck Historical Society for many years. He loved films of all kinds, as well, and was a 'czar' member of Upstate Films, a very favorite Rhinebeck venue of his.
This 'larger-than-life' man had health issues that took their toll; he continued to exude abundant gratitude and joy for every aspect of his life, including the very difficult parts---he embraced it all and everyone: he was an anchor, mentor, father-figure, to so many.
Keith was a husband extraordinaire; a loving, kind and devoted sibling, father, grandfather, uncle and brother-in-law. He never missed an opportunity to connect or help, in good times or bad.
He loved his many friends with great abandon and was always preparing his next prank or joke; readying his next funny story to tell; or watching for the next point to vigorously argue. And his world-class sense of humor will resonate for decades, no doubt.
He was often referred to as "The Mayor of Rhinebeck" by those who were fortunate enough to know him and he loved his morning coffee with the group at Bread Alone, or down on The River (after Covid appeared).
Mostly Keith wanted to be remembered as a kind man; he met that goal a hundredfold.
Graveside Services are Thursday, August 4th, 1:00 PM, at the Rhinebeck Cemetery, 59 Mill Rd., Rhinebeck.
Memorial services are Friday, August 12th, 1:00 PM, at the Ferncliff Forest Pavilion, 68 Mt. Rutsen Rd., Rhinebeck. Lunch will be served following the memorial service at the pavilion.
Memorial Donations may be made to Camp Hollis- Oswego County Parks & Recreation, 70 Bunner St., Oswego, NY 13126