Brett Eugene Greider of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Tzununá, Guatemala, died suddenly from a heart attack on May 12, 2018 while dancing with his artistic and spiritual community on the shores of Lake Atitlán.
He was born Dec. 6, 1951 in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Dr. Eugene and Norma Greider, and as an infant moved with the family to California. In 1956, the family settled into their home in Los Altos, where he attended the local Oak Avenue, Blach, and Awalt schools. Brett held a Bachelors degree in literature from Seattle Pacific University, Masters degrees in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, and writing from Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash., and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley.
His life was full of the outdoors, travel and adventure. He was a backcountry ranger in the Olympic National Forest and a firefighter near Yosemite and in Idaho’s Bitterroot Mountains. He worked on a kibbutz, backpacked through Central Asia, and with sister Laurey hiked, hitched, and sailed through Mexico, Central, and South America. He camped under the stars in the Sierra, and introduced family and students to Pueblo culture and indigenous sacred sites in New Mexico. Many enjoyed his escapades, for he was a great storyteller.
Brett taught creative writing and comparative religion at the College of Santa Fe, Seattle Pacific College, Sweet Briar College in Virginia and University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. He taught most recently at UC Santa Cruz and CSU Monterey Bay.
He was passionate about Mayan and other indigenous cultures, Latin American religions, Tibetan Buddhism, music, and dancing. Above all, he expressed unbounded love and pride for his children.
Brett is survived by his children, Sebastian Greider and Byrne Greider, both of Los Angeles. He leaves siblings Cheryl Bradkin (Bill) of Whidbey Island, Wash., Dr. Buff Greider of Sunnyvale, Calif., and Laurey Greider (Tom Carter) of San Rafael, Calif., nieces Lisa Bradkin, Hallie and Muriel Carter, nephew Grant Carter, and a great-nephew.
A Mayan blessing was held May 17 in Tzununá and a celebration of life will be held at a later date in Santa Cruz.