GREIS, Carla Treppenhauer, age 94 of Centerville, Ohio, formerly of Malverne, New York, passed away on Friday, April 27, 2018. She was born on December 6, 1923 in Shanghai, China, the only child of Carl and Adele (Dietze) Treppenhauer. At that time, Shanghai was a bustling city, the European center of commerce and trade in China and so culturally rich it was often called the “Paris of the East”. Her father, a watchmaker, owned C. Ismer Jewelers and her mother, originally from Dresden, managed their beloved home at 352 Avenue Haig. Carla enjoyed her life in Shanghai, surrounded by many close friends and classmates (her “tribe”) whom she continued to communicate with until her death. Carla attended the Kaiser Wilhelm School from Kindergarten through Secondary school. After graduation, she worked as a secretary at the German Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. In 1945, Carla was invited to an engagement party of a good friend and it was there that she met her future husband, William “Bill” Greis, an American GI who was stationed in Shanghai during WWII. They married on July 7, 1946 and shortly after headed by boat to the United States. They landed first in San Francisco and then took a train to Lynbrook, New York where Bill’s family lived. In 1948, they built a house on Silver Street in the neighboring town of Malverne. In 1950, Bill accepted a job transfer with General Electric to work on installing the first TV towers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1951, their first son, Peter, was born in New York and shortly after the young family moved to an apartment near the Copacabana Beach in Rio. In 1953, Thomas, their second son was born in Rio. Following Bill’s work with GE, the family moved again to Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1954. They settled into a home that Carla loved with a large yard, room for a garden, and plenty of room to entertain new friends, and old Shanghai friends, who had also settled in Brazil. By 1958, their youngest son, Michael was born. In 1960, Carla, Bill, and their three sons returned to the United States and settled back into their house in Malverne. Life was very busy for Carla raising three sons, especially since Bill’s work with GE required him to travel worldwide. Eventually the boys went off to college and began their own lives, giving Bill and Carla (now affectionately known as Oma and Opa) the freedom to travel worldwide and to make many trips into Manhattan where they enjoyed theatre, dining, museums, lectures and concerts. From Antartica to Istanbul and several trips to China, there was no adventure too great for Bill and Carla. This extra time also gave Carla the opportunity to pursue several of her interests: languages, history and genealogy. Carla was fluent in 5 languages: English, French, German, Portuguese and Japanese. She combined her love of history with travel around the world, where she didn’t just see the sights, but studied them, and immersed herself deeply in the cultures she visited. And, after returning home, she relived her trips by making albums, full of pictures, stories and memorabilia—over 100 volumes in total. Tracing her and Bill’s family history was also a passion of Carla’s. Together, they spent many hours researching public and Church records, interviewing long lost relatives in the U.S. and Europe, and eventually documenting both of their family trees back to the late 1700s. In their search, many long-lost family members became the closest of friends. One passion she did not share with Bill (who was forever on a diet) was her love of sweets. Carla often said that “Sugar makes your day a Happy Day” as she scooped a spoonful or two on her cereal each morning.
In 2008, after many years of traveling worldwide and enjoying everything Manhattan had to offer, Bill and Carla moved to Centerville, Ohio to be close to their oldest son Peter and his family. Carla loved her new home on Grassland Way and for the first time ever, she enjoyed the luxury of central air conditioning. Carla surrounded herself in her new home with all her favorite pieces brought from her homes in China, New York and Brazil and from her years of travel. She and Bill were able to relive their best memories through the many albums Carla had designed; and, together they even completed a map pin-pointing every place in the world they had travelled. After Bill’s death in 2011, Carla enjoyed reading, phone calls reminiscing with friends all over the world and spending time with family. Carla would be the first to say she had an enviable life, highlighted by a fascinating childhood, a great love in Bill, three sons who gave her the “daughters” she never had, six devoted grandchildren, one adorable great grandson, wonderful friendships, and an insatiable desire to learn new things. Her straight-forward, bold and candid approach to life was her calling card. Her wit, charm, and true charisma will be forever remembered and greatly missed. Carla recently said, “I’ve had a good long life, and it needs to stop soon. I’m getting exhausted!” Rest easy, Oma…..now you are home.
Carla is survived by her sons, Peter and his wife Carol of Centerville, Ohio; Thomas and his wife Helen of San Diego, California; and Michael and his wife Gloria, of Needham, Massachusetts; and by her grandchildren, Andrew and his wife Megan, Christina and her husband, Isaiah, Catherine, Madeleine, Diana, and Adam; and one great grandson, Ford Thomas.
The family would like to express their thanks for the loving care given to Carla by Graceworks at Home, Home Instead Senior Care, and Hospice of Dayton. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Dayton, 324 Wilmington Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45420.
Services are private with burial at Pinelawn Cemetery in Farmingdale, NY. A Celebration of Carla’s life will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.routsong.com.
The Hospice of Dayton has helped generations of Miami Valley families facing life-limiting illnesses. Serving patients in a variety of settings we provide specialists in hospice and palliative care including physicians, registered nurses, Advance Practice nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers, home health aides, chaplains, pharmacists and more to focus on quality of life.
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