Herbert Greaves, Father of 4, Founded Mr. Roof, The Largest Residential Roofing Company in America
Herbert J. Greaves of Saline died peacefully Monday, March 7, 2022, at the Memory Lane Assisted Living facility in Ypsilanti, MI. Herb was born on May 28, 1939 in Detroit, MI, the oldest child of Herbert & Evelyn (McDermott) Greaves. On July 3, 1959, at the age of 20 years old, Herbert married Donna Kay Poet in Dearborn, MI, after meeting her on the local ice skating rink. Herbert is survived by his four children, Jeffrey (Jennifer) Greaves, Kurt (Grace) Greaves, Radford (Roxanne) Greaves and Natalie Greaves; as well as grandchildren, Paige (Theo) Marentis, Adam Greaves, Alexandra (Nick) Brown, Lucas (Alisha) Greaves, Karson Greaves, Vanessa (Stephen) Mackey, Omar Russell Jr., James Carroll, and Taylor and Jordyn. Herbert also had four great-grandchildren: Xavier and Trevor Mackey, Sofia Marentis and Brooks Brown. Herbert was preceded in death by his wife Donna, his parents, sister Kandice Dennis, and grandsons Tyler and Jacob Greaves. Herbert graduated from Edsel Ford High School in Dearborn, MI in 1958 and earned his associate’s degree from Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, MI in 1960. He worked his way through college at various jobs including sorting mail for the United States Post Office all while raising a young family. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1962 and a Master’s in Education in 1965. Herbert taught school in the Taylor School district for over 30 years teaching everything from history, typing, and building trades. He served on many committees and helped the district in many ways. During his ‘off’ times from teaching and summer vacations, Herbert was bored and had an interest in contracting. He built his first home in Belleville, MI, with the help of a good family friend, and moved his family there in 1965. That gave Herb the love for building. He continued to enjoy doing trade work when he wasn’t teaching school. He became a licensed building contractor and enjoyed working with all three of his sons (and their friends) on many new home construction projects as well as a variety of many other projects. Around 1980 he incorporated as Mr. Roof and together with his son, catapulted the business into the largest residential roofing company in the country. Herb and his wife Donna enjoyed many things together including traveling to various countries (motorcycle or horseback riding focused trips), fox hunting and jumping with their horses at the Waterloo Hunt Club, reading, roller skating, skiing and zoo trips with all their grandkids, gardening, and especially family. Everyone was like family to Herb and Donna. They made it to every event they could for each of their grandchildren and were always there when they were needed. They hosted many family parties and arranged trips (for extended family members) to their home so that we always knew our roots. Herbert always would help Donna in the kitchen during every family holiday and would even wear the apron!
Herb will be remembered for his jovial, infectious laugh, one that would embarrass Donna at events or in the movie theater! No one was ever a stranger with Herb around; he would talk to anyone and when your conversation was over, you felt like he was your new friend. Herb was also a wonderful teacher. He taught his family so much over the years and loved his grandchildren and would tutor them on specific things they needed help with. Herb was also a wonderful and caring employer. He touched so many lives throughout his career as a teacher, contractor and employer.
According to Herbert’s wishes, cremation will take place after a Celebration of Life on Monday, March 14, 2022 at St. James United Church of Christ in Saline Township. Visitation will be held from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M., with service at 3:00 P.M. and a light meal in the church hall afterward. Pastor Steve O’Dell will officiate the service. In lieu of flowers and to honor Herb, a scholarship has been established through the South & West Washtenaw Consortium (SWWC), specifically to benefit students enrolled in the Building Trades program as they enter college and career. Checks may be made payable to the SWWC and mailed to 1300 Campus Parkway, Saline, MI 48176 or dropped off during the time of visitation. The family would greatly appreciate reading any stories that you may have about Herb. To leave a memory, to sign his guestbook, or for directions please visit www.rbfhsaline.com.