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“You can’t take a fish out of water…”

January 25, 2019

Berniece Looney Crandall Greetham also known as “Bunny” has been a resident at Brightmore for 4 1/2 years.  Bunny was adopted at age 4 into a family of swimmers, Aunt May Looney who was a former Pro Long Distance Swimmer and Grandfather John Looney. Bunny learned to swim at the YWCA in Warren, Ohio at age 6.  At the age of 10, Bunny joined the Lakeshore Swim Club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and at age 11 won the 1 ½ mile swim and several trophies and medals. Bunny swam in Canada until the war when rationing made it impossible. After the war, at the age of 16, Bunny joined the Firestone Swim Club in Akron, Ohio, and competed in Nationals all over the U.S.A., including New Jersey, Boca Raton, Indiana, Chicago and California. Bunny was named “All Canadian” for 1 & 3 miles and “All American” for 1 & 3 miles.  Bunny turned professional in 1947, and set a World Record for 5 miles and was named three-time World Champion for 3 miles. Later in life, Bunny taught swimming and coached. She was the Aquatic Director of the Family YM-YWCA in Ashtabula, Ohio. Bunny then became the Director of the American Red Cross Water Safety and graduated from Kent State University, where she was voted “Most Popular Woman on Campus” in 1948.  Bunny was the winner of Local, State and National Master Swimming. It was at the National Master Swimming she met her husband, Donald Greetham. They met at a swim meet in Charlotte, married soon after and swam for years together. Bunny taught Physical Education in the Ohio school system until she moved to Wilmington, NC. Bunny and Donald swam for years with their new friends at Brightmore, and Bunny continues to this day to swim and join in on all aquatic programs that Brightmore has to offer, and she is an amazing pool volleyball player and 1-mile water walker! We are so blessed to know such an accomplished swimmer!  

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