Margit “Grete” Treiber of Terre Haute, Indiana was born April 29, 1928, in Hodmazovasarhely, Hungary to Rudolf and Szabo (Ilona) Steindl. She passed away peacefully Sunday, July 5, 2020, in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was 92 years old.
Mrs. Treiber overcame severe ordeals in her youth and became a leading figure in her profession. She, along with her family, endured extreme hardships during World War II and persevered through the Soviet occupation of her native country to earn a degree in Sports Science at the University of Pécs. During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, she risked her life to escape the oppression of the Soviets in Hungary and made her way to the U.S., where she began anew and achieved great success.
Starting from nothing, she worked hard to build an admirable career. She began as a dance instructor at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where she met her husband of 32 years, Robert E. Treiber. They married in 1959, moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, and opened an Arthur Murray Dance studio. Mrs. Treiber earned a teaching degree and Master of Science from Indiana State University in 1961. In 1962 she began teaching and coaching at ISU. She created the gymnastics curriculum of their Physical Education Department and taught gymnastics, dance, and fundamental movement courses.
In 1965 she founded the Women’s Gymnastics program at ISU and was its head coach for 21 years. Through her leadership and expertise, the program grew to be one of the most respected gymnastics programs in the U.S. She led her ISU teams to several Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national competitions. She was a judge at the highest level, Brevet, for over 25 years and a member of the National Association for Women’s Gymnastics Judges (NAWGJ). She was a judge for state, regional, and national meets for the United States Gymnastics Federation (USGF) and served as their Technical Chairman during the 1960s and ‘70s. Mrs. Treiber hosted the 1972 Olympic Trials at ISU and was the head coach for the U.S. team at the World University Games in Torino, Italy in 1970. She served as the NCAA liaison for the U.S. Olympic Committee as well as several USGF committees.
Mrs. Treiber was highly regarded in her professional career. This is evident by the many awards and accolades she received. She was extremely honored and very proud of her inductions into the The National Association of Women’s Gymnastics Judges Hall of Fame in 1980, the ISU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984, the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1988, the USA Gymnastics Region 5 Hall of Fame in 2011, and the Indiana Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2013.
Mrs. Treiber was preceded in death by her parents and her husband. She is survived by her brother Rudolf Steindl of Maitland, Florida, who remembers her as a very loving sister, and by many of her students, gymnasts, colleagues, and friends. Her unique and transformative leadership as an educator of both body and mind nurtured lifelong relationships in the gymnastics world. Her dynamism, flair, passion, and generosity cultivated lasting and cherished friendships. She will always be loved, remembered, and missed by those whose lives she affected.
In keeping with Mrs. Treiber’s wishes, cremation has taken place. Due to COVID, a Celebration of Life to honor her is to be held at a later date. As she was a devoted animal lover and advocate, contributions to animal shelters in her memory would be appreciated. Online condolences may be shared at www.sealsfuneralhome.com.
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