It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the passing of Thomas Greteman of St-Louis, at age 78.
Tom first visited Aikens Lake in 1953. He knew first-hand how difficult a chore it was to build Aikens. He often told stories of Eric and Elsie Carlson, the first owners of the lodge. After a long hiatus, Tom returned to Aikens with his sons Kirby and Dan in September 1991. They celebrated the return by reeling in 3 trophy pike during that trip… and the tradition of Greteman family trips had begun! Tom kept coming year after year with his sons, and at other times with his loving wife Celine. In August 2000, the first “Greteman Family Adventure” arrived at Aikens Lake. The whole family, which included Tom and Celine, their five children (Mary, Jane, Amy, Dan, and Kirby), spouses, and 6 grandchildren, was present that year. The motto was “Fish, Feast, Fiesta, Fabricate!”.
Tom was never a very hardcore angler, although he thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors, serenity, and peace that Aikens offered him. You could often see him cruising around the lake in his boat, no particular place to go. However, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to show off a bit in front of his family! The trip was highlighted by Tom’s first Master Angler walleye! A 2nd “Greteman Family Adventure” happened in 2003. Tom’s last trip to Aikens happened in Sept 2005 when he was there with Kirby and Dan.
Tom was wonderful man. He was able to make friends easily and his personality really shone through while he was at Aikens. A witty joke teller, Tom’s trademark during all his trips was to entertain the crowd in the bar by recounting his story of “Petie the Snake”. Despite the tongue-twister anecdote, Tom never once stumbled on the words. We are all blessed to have known Tom through a very special place: Aikens Lake. Although his fishing skills were no match for his wisdom, tenacity, and loyalty we are certain that he will easily meet the requirements for his Grand Master Angler’s Award in “the great happy fishing waters in the sky”.