Grethe lived life with Lunenburg spirit and Norwegian resolve. Her spirit came from her mother Lillian
Greek. Her resolve was a gift from her father Reinhart Kristiansen. Born in Halifax, N.S. in 1943, “Cookie”, as
she soon became known, moved, with her parents and loving brother Bill Dennison, to New York City for her first five years. Her school years began back in Lunenburg N.S. where she quickly learned the joy of skiing, golf, tennis and sailing. Grethe studied at Mount Saint Vincent. After achieving her Professional Secretarial Diploma she worked in Halifax. It wasn’t long before she followed, KeithCrouse, the stalwart and passionate love of her life, to Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. On September 10, 1962 they were married at Zion Lutheran Church in Lunenburg.
Their marriage was blessed with four sons. The first three were born while serving St John Lutheran Church, Mahone Bay. The fourth son was born while serving Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Brockville, while Cookie also worked at Brockville Motors. Sixteen years of spirited family life were lived together in love when tragedy struck and Grethe’s firstborn son, Kelly, was lost at sea. Her faith in God’s loving kindness and her dedication to life brought her to a place of acceptance and forgiveness. Her heart never left Nova Scotia. It was where she made some of her best memories.
Cookie was a true partner to Keith in their 41 years of ministry together, from Welland to Eganville, and, finally, back to Brockville for retirement. She was blessed with a clever wit that was still making those around her laugh even in her final days. She loved people and the stories they had to share. Family card games—Auction was required learning for all daughters-in-law—would often stretch for hours because there was always more talk than play. To her four grandchildren, she was Nana Cookie, famous for an endless supply of magic bars, treasured for her loving delight in their accomplishments.
Grethe passed away peacefully, comforted by her family on May 26, 2017. She was predeceased by her parents, brother, son and her sisters-in-law Judy Tanner and Valerie Crouse. Cookie leaves to mourn her loving husband Keith, who she described as her ‘strength and constant love’; her sons and their families ‘who brought me more joy than I ever expected to receive,’ Dan (Lisa, Anders, Emma); Joel (Erin, Noah, Samson); Ted (Marcy); her sister-in-law Mona Dennison (Ozzie); her brother-in-law Kevin Crouse (Becky) and her many nieces and nephews.
A service honouring the spirit and resolve of Grethe will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Brockville at on May 29, 2017. Visitation: 10:00am-11:00am. Service: 11am. Reception: 12-2pm.
The interment will take place at Hillcrest Cemetery in Lunenburg, N.S. at 11am on May 31, 2017. In lieu of flowers the family encourages you to give a donation to Canadian Lutheran World Relief for furthering the work of Lutheran World Federation administered Augusta Victoria Hospital in Palestine.