Mac Greentree

Wednesday, August 18, 2021 1:41 am

Mac Ellis Greentree, 77, of rural Postville, lost his battle with cancer on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, at home with his loved ones by his side.

Memorial services will be held Sunday, Aug. 22 at 1 p.m. at Salem United Church of Christ in rural Waukon, with Pastor Sue Klimstra officiating, and burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at the church. Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon is handling arrangements.

Mac Ellis Greentree was born April 30, 1944, in Kenton, OH, to Carl and Mary Bell (Ellis) Greentree. When Mac was 14, he and his family moved to Iowa; he loved to tell the story about how his dad answered an ad in the Hoards Dairyman magazine for a herdsman job in Oelwein, IA. So, he loaded the whole family into a ’57 Chevy, including Mac’s two brothers, his grandmother, and the family dog. They drove all the way to Iowa in February during the middle of a snow storm. Mac started school in Oelwein, but in April of that year, he was kicked in the face by a horse, shattering his glasses and causing him to lose an eye. The family then moved to Jesup, where Mac graduated from high school. Mac started raising a family on a small farm near Hazleton; he loved that little farm. He also drove an egg truck during this time as well. Due to the loss of his eye, it was sometimes hard for him to find a job. Since Mac had such a fantastic voice, his dad encouraged him to go to auction school; he was only making $62 a week at the time, so Mac went to the bank and borrowed $225 for tuition. Mac had to take a week off work without pay to attend Reisch World Wide College of Auctioneering 1965. After graduating, he rented a vacant lot in Jesup and began holding consignment sales. He also worked for Big Bear Farm Store and in the 1970s, they transferred him to Decorah; this is when he really settled in to the auction business.

In 1980, Mac was the Iowa State Champion Auctioneer. He managed the Decorah Big Bear Store until 2000, when he left to do auctions full time. On Aug. 8, 2004, Mac married Kathy Duvel Bjerke at Seed Savers in Decorah. On Oct. 3, 2020, he conducted his last auction a day after finding out he had cancer. Mac had a great love for horses, even after losing his eye to one. He drove a team at Green’s Sugar Bush for their pancake feed for over 30 years and his Belgian teams were seen in many parades pulling the Laura Ingles Wilder covered wagon or Santa in the Christmas parade. He belonged to the Iowa/Minnesota Horse Plowing Association and served as president for some time. Mac loved music, especially the gospel music of Bill Gaither. He was a barbershopper, sang in several musical groups over the years, and was a member of his church choir. Mac was even known to break into song at his auctions on occasion, especially if it could help him sell a piano. Mac never met a stranger, loved to talk, and just loved people in general.

He is survived by his wife Kathy Greentree of rural Postville; his children: Lisa (Mike) Miner of Kaysville, UT, Melodee Galegos of Centerville, UT, Dr. Melissa (Jeff) Milligan of Southington, OH, and Travis Greentree of Decorah; stepchildren: Amanda (Andy) Kerner of Postville, and Mikael and Adam Bjerke, both of West Union; grandchildren: Nick (Emily) Miner, Chelsea (Chris) Watts, Emily (McKay) Wadsworth, and Ashlee Galegos; step-grandchildren Mitchell and Ryan Guese; great-grandchildren: Charlie, Penny, and Talmadge Miner and Calvin and Ayzlin Watts; his brothers, Gene (Sherry Ann) Greentree of Mt. Victory, OH, and Jay (Jean) Greentree of Rochester, Minn; mother-in-law Shirley Duvel of Waukon; and several nieces and nephews. Mac was preceded in death by his parents; stepfather Edward Althauser; grandson Taylor Miner; and father-in-law Duane Duvel.     Honorary urnbearers are Tim Hutchinson, Ed Aubrey, Leon Baumler, and Larry Gelo.

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