Obituary for Mary Jayne Griep
Mary Jayne Griep was born in Rock Springs, Wyoming, on May 7, 1936, to Amelia (Michael) and Emil Julius. She died on Dec. 31, 2017, of colon cancer.
The Julius family moved to Billings when Mary Jayne was six, and she grew up on what was then known as “the Bench," eventually attending Billings Senior High. She married Frank Griep on Nov. 30, 1956. After a brief stint in Texas for his basic training, they returned to Billings to raise their three children, Ed, Bruce, and Sue. She loved her children deeply, and was honored to help raise her granddaughter, Camille.
Mary Jayne was a firebrand. She loved to cook and sew, and she pushed trends and boundaries, serving red velvet cake to horrified friends before it was ever fashionable and bouillabaisse to the church group in authentic seashell bowls. She crafted everything from curtains to prom dresses to stuffed animals. Passionate about learning, she challenged herself with entrepreneurial pursuits ranging from restaurateur to hairdresser to couture fabric vendor.
She was also deeply committed to animals. Dogs were her constant companions, leading a friend to once say that if reincarnation were to occur, he hoped he’d “come back as one of Mary Jayne’s dogs.” When she had room enough, she kept chickens, and when even more room was available, she added geese, a goat, horses, and even a cat or two.
Her parents and her son, Ed, preceded her in death.
She will be profoundly missed as the matriarch of the Griep family. She is survived by her son, Bruce; daughter, Sue; granddaughters, Camille Griep and partner Adam Siefker, Cassandra Silvis, Valeska Kober and partner Stefan Merz; Stefan Kober; great-grandchildren, Serena Griep, Julian Kober, Amelie Kober, and Fjorin Merz; and brother Ronald Julius.
Memorials in Mary Jayne’s honor are welcome anywhere, but especially Yellowstone Public Radio, Montana PBS, or a pet rescue charity of choice. Viewing from 4-8 p.m., Tuesday, Jan 2; Memorial service at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 3, at Smith’s Funeral Chapel Downtown.