Remembering the life of Edouard Greven

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Taylor Crul
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Edouard Greven was many things to a lot of people. He was an active community member, barber, veteran, family man, friend and more.

Greven died Aug. 13, 2017, at the age of 87. But as a man who did so much for so many, his legacy will live on in the people and the community he helped.

He was born Oct. 29, 1929, in Luxemburg. In December of 1944 he came to America, and shortly after World War II, joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Enid Army Air Field, now known as Vance Air Force Base.

After he served his military time he stayed in Enid and continued to support the Air Force and the community, said George Pankonin, director of the Retiree Activities Office at Vance.

While at Vance, Greven served as one of the original six board members who helped create the first service club on base, called “The Crosswinds,” said Pankonin.

It was 1954 when senior leadership decided that the enlisted men of the Air Force were entitled to have a service club. Greven was named president of the club board and according to a letter he wrote, the first piece of business was to name the club.

“After much searching, and still not able to agree on a name, we decided to hold a base-wide ‘Name the Club Contest,’ a prize would be awarded to the individual providing the winning entry,” he wrote.

An airman second class from Salt Lake City had the winning entry, “The Crosswinds.”

At the dedication ceremony, unbeknown to the winner, the board had invited and flown his sweetheart to Enid. When he walked across the stage to accept his prize, it was his sweetheart who made the presentation.

Leaving nothing to chance, Greven wrote, “…we made sure that his buddies escorted him to the banquet. We also made doubly sure that he would be there without some lovely young lady from Enid.”

Greven was an active member of the Military Affairs Chamber of Commerce and the Air Force Association, being the main driving force that helped establish Enlisted Appreciation Night and Camp Tomahawk, both of which are still going on to this day.

Enlisted Appreciation Night is an updated version of the Crosswinds’ popular Monte Carlo Night from the early days.

Camp Tomahawk is a summer camp for local children hosted by the Enid Chamber of Commerce and Vance.

Greven was an active member of the American Business Club, which is a social club that fosters interests in the public welfare and service to the community and society in general, said Pankonin.

However, Greven enjoyed serving best by doing his job as barber at his business, the Razor’s Edge Barber Shop.

Greven’s work in the community and his outstanding commitment to the welfare and growth of the Airmen stationed here resulted in his selection to be an honorary member of Team Vance as part of the “Vance Partner in the Sky” program.

“There was a lot of community and base interface programs that he was involved in,” said Pankonin. “There are few people who touch even one of them. It is unusual for someone to touch so many of them like he did.”

Greven was a man who was always giving to others, open to help anybody he could, said Pankonin. “Whether it was here at Vance or out in the community, Ed was always helping in some way.

“He will be missed, but Ed made sure to leave us with a lot of great memories,” said Pankonin.