Maria “Rie” Greenfield

November 13, 2023

In Loving Memory

Maria “Rie” Greenfield

Maria “Rie” Greenfield of Kamloops passed away on the 13 of November 2023, at 97 years of age.

She is survived by her children: Leonard/Julia Greenfield of Hillsboro, Oregon and Renata/Adam Johnson of Kamloops, BC

Grandchildren: Daniel/Phoebe Nguyen, Caroline Greenfield, Max Greenfield, Sam Greenfield, Nat/Dana Johnson, Rachel Johnson, Abby Johnson and honorary granddaughters Kiara/Nathan Postma (Everleigh and Hyacinth), and Mckayla Ramsey

Many nieces, nephews and grand and great grand nieces and nephews in both the Netherlands, Australia and the United States. 

Predeceased by her husband of 38 years John Greenfield and her many siblings and their spouses.

Rie was born on March 26, 1926, in the town of Dordrecht, Netherlands. She was the youngest of 8. When she was 14 the Netherlands became an occupied country and she had to grow up quickly. She started nursing school at 16 and became a nurse.  She had the desire to not only be a nurse, but also a midwife.  She moved to England and studied at the Deaconess hospital in London while also learning English.  She worked as a nurse and midwife in both England and the Netherlands. In the late 50’s Rie felt a calling to become a missionary.  She left the Netherlands and traveled to then Dutch New Guinea (now West Papua) in 1958, where she used her skills as a nurse and midwife to care for people who had never seen a “white” person. She delivered babies, took care of mothers and children and sewed up a few battlefield wounds as tribes warred against each other in her backyard. It was during this time she met her husband to be who was also a missionary when he became very ill. In 1962, John had to return home to Texas because of his health and due to political unrest in Dutch New Guinea Rie returned to the Netherlands. 

After corresponding together, at the end of 1962 John asked Rie to come to the United States and marry him. On April 11, 1963, they were married in Houston, Tx. They felt led to apply to United Indian Missions and were accepted September 1963. They were commissioned to go to Havasupai Canyon, Arizona at the end of an 8-mile trail to minister to the Havasupai tribe. During this time son Leonard and daughter Renata were born. Rie used her nursing skills to care for the people in the canyon.  After 10 years, they were transferred to Burns Lake, BC to work with the Lake Babine Nation. Rie and John helped start Rocknest Ranch Bible Camp in Houston, BC for indigenous children and youth. Rie and John loved their ministry in Burns Lake and at Rocknest Ranch.  After 10 ½ years an opportunity opened to go back to Arizona to teach at the Indian Bible College in Flagstaff.

While in Flagstaff Rie played a supportive role to John.  She hosted students and teachers alike. Rie and John were never too busy for to care for big or little things. They were faithful to make time for people and put relationships before projects or tasks. Rie was always quick to pray and quick to offer Godly wisdom and advice for people in need.

In 2000, Rie and John came back to Canada to “retire”. Missionaries never really retire and Rie and John joined the Native Fellowship in Kamloops.  Rie loved sharing herself with the folks in the Fellowship. In 2001 after a short battle with cancer John went home to be with the Lord and Rie had to rediscover her life without him. Rie was not one to give up on life and still drove herself all over. Trips to Arizona and back, never a day that she wasn’t off to town in her little Subaru. Most likely off to visit the old folks. She never saw herself as a senior citizen. Rie remained home with the assistance of family and friends until due to health issues she moved to Ponderosa Extended Care.

Special thanks to Phaedra Stuart-Montgomery for her companionship and friendship with Rie, the nursing and care staff on Ponderosa 3rd floor. Your care was so appreciated.  Thank you also to Dr. Grant Del Begio for his kind and consistent care over 24 years.

A memorial service is Saturday the 16th of December 2023 at 1pm at Summit Drive Baptist Church in Kamloops, BC with Harvey Fehr officiating.


Memorial donations in lieu of flowers can be made to a few of Rie’s favorite organizations: Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Smile, and the Canadian Bible Society.

Arrangements entrusted to

Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services 250-554-2324

Condolences may be expressed to the family by phone or email through Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services:

T: 250-554-2324 F: 250.554.3505

665 Tranquille Rd #4,
Kamloops, BC V2B 3H7

E: [email protected]

Leave a comment

Comments: 8

  1. Lynn Kramer says:

    Rie exuded God’s love and acceptance to the people around her and I was so blessed to have been on the receiving end of such love . Sending love and prayers to her family as they walk the difficult path of grief but also joy because we know she is dancing with her Father. 💕

  2. CHERYL Belanger says:

    My condolences to all the family. Mom was well loved. God bless her now she is with Jesus. God bless you all.

  3. Lisa Siderius says:

    Wow!!! What a life!!! What an example of God’s love ❤
    So many touched by her kindness.
    Rejoice for she is Home !!

  4. Karen Pfeifer says:

    Dear Renauta, we always appreciated your mom and dad so much. They were always so encouraging to us as we were newer to UIM. Your mom had such a sweet way about her. She will be missed.

  5. Juanita Fike says:

    Renata and Leonard and families, knowing what it’s like to lose a dear mother, I’m feeling with/for you. May God comfort your hearts, knowing with certainty that your mom’s last breath here was the moment she entered into the presence of the One Who made both abundant and eternal LIFE possible.
    I appreciated so much both of your parents. In Christ, Juanita

  6. Dan Fredericks says:

    ALL of the Fredericks family wish to extend our love to all of the Greenfield family, especially Renata and Leonard, and extended family and friends. My parents, Don and Donna Fredericks were so blessed by the friendship and faithful ministry and service of John and Rie. Personally, I have so many wonderful childhood memories, as well as ministry ministries as I grew up and served with John and Rie in the ministry of UIM International. I am grateful to know Rie is “at home in Heaven” with the Savior, and also now with beloved John, and my father….and so many others rejoicing in the presence of the Lord Jesus,
    In His Glorious Name,
    Dan Fredericks

  7. Julie Fredericks says:

    We are among the many who were touched by Rie (and John) in the years we lived in Flagstaff. It was a joy to serve with these two humble missionaries, who gave of themselves completely to the Lord’s work. God bless the family, and all who have cared so well for Rie in these years as her health failed.

  8. Doug & Sherrie Anderson says:

    We are so thankful to God for both John & Rie and for bringing them into our lives. Sherrie and I are going to work on being there for her memorial on Dec. 16th.
    Our condolences to all the family.
    Rie was a very special person and we thank God for all the years that he gave her to her family and friends.

    Doug & Sherrie Anderson

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