Greg Booth lived to have a good time.
Entering this world on September 8th, 1949 in Evanston, Illinois, Greg was the first-born son of Leonard John Booth and Patricia Joyce Wyman. As the oldest of what would come to number 30 grandchildren on the Wyman side, Greg’s joy in being surrounded by people began in his early years.
After graduating from New Trier High School in 1967, Greg moved north to St. Paul, Minnesota to attend Hamline University where his love for (in his words) “commodity-grade” beer and loud parties nearly derailed his college career. He eventually found a balance in the “work hard, play hard” mentality and began blending his gift of writing and his entrepreneurial skills by running a side hustle of crafting term papers for his fraternity brothers. By his last semester, he earned a 4.0 GPA and graduated with a degree in Political Science in 1971.
While at Hamline, he asked out a pretty girl in a mini skirt and even though on their first date she said, “I should probably tell you that I don’t like beer,” he married Sally Andresen on December 18, 1971.
Greg kept the good times rolling during his law studies at William Mitchell College of Law and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in 1975.
During law school, he applied for a law clerk position at Sheets, Greenstein, Cutting and Neal but, impressed by Greg’s vivaciousness, they instead referred him to a job at North Star Title and Abstract, which would become the catalyst to a successful career in the title business.
Deciding that being his own boss allowed flexibility for more fun, he founded Land Title, Inc. in 1985. Under his leadership, Land Title grew to become one of the largest and most successful independent title insurance agencies in Minnesota. Greg was regarded by most as a fair and good-natured boss, where the common understanding was “screw up once and get fired in 10 years.”
Greg was dedicated to the advancement of the title insurance industry and, in addition to teaching continuing education courses at his alma mater, he served as President of the Minnesota Land Title Association in 1998 and rarely missed their annual convention - mainly because of the parties.
Retirement allowed Greg the opportunity to really make sure his social calendar was full. To him, family was everything and he cherished all types of family gatherings: holidays, reunions, weddings, and especially the random Saturdays he allowed his grandkids to climb all over him in a game called “monkey.”
Greg enjoyed traveling, especially to Hawaii with his family and to international destinations with his son Mike, where no matter the locale or language he always found a way to make friends from strangers.
When he wasn’t spending time with his family, Greg’s energy was fueled by being with friends. He loved regular lunch outings, Friday night beers at Applebee’s, guys’ night out at his favorite steak houses, and attending performances at the Ordway and Hennepin Avenue theaters. While many might remark on the magic of theater or the stories it brings to life, to Greg it was “really just an excuse to take friends out and socialize.”
Despite countless health challenges in the last three years, Greg’s positive outlook never wavered and remained intact right up until the very end. He passed away surrounded by family on Friday, June 4th, just in time to get the weekend party started in the great ever after. We’re confident he’s buying everyone there a round of beer.
Greg is survived by his loving wife of nearly 50 years, Sally; his beloved children, son Mike, daughter Diana, son-in-law Jim Barr; and his adoring grandchildren Greta and Cameron. He is also survived by his siblings, Debby, Doug, and Jan; 21 cousins and - hopefully it’s clear by now - many, many friends.
A celebration of life will be held Thursday, June 24th at 4:30 p.m. with reception/visitation following from 5-7 p.m. at Vadnais Heights Commons. 655 East County Road F, Vadnais Heights, MN 55127. Casual attire, please.
In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the American Cancer Society, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, or Hennepin Theatre Trust.
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