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Phyllis Harmon Greene

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GREENE Phyllis Harmon Greene, 91, a leader of the Columbus civic and philanthropic communities for more than 60 years, died peacefully at home on February 24, 2011. Mrs. Greene was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years Robert B. Greene, her brother Alfred W. Harmon Jr., her parents Alfred W. Harmon, and Amy W. Harmon Lazarus and her daughter-in-law Susan K. Greene. She is survived by her children, Robert B. Greene Jr., D.G. Fulford, and Timothy H. (Cynthia) Greene; grandchildren, Margaret May (Jonathan) Sherman, Amanda, Nicholas, Tucker, and Hannah Greene, and Christopher, Caroline, and Carter Matthews; great-grandchildren, Zachary M. and Nathaniel F. Sherman; sister-in-law, Suzanne B. Harmon; and nieces and nephews Dr. Julie (Chris Kloth) Harmon, Kathy (Larry) Shkolnik, Molly (Larry) Ruben, and Alfred W. (Lucinda) Harmon III, Nicki Greene (Peter) Moffat, and Melissa Greene. Mrs. Greene was a graduate of the Columbus School for Girls and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wellesley College. She was a founder of the Columbus Metropolitan Club; chairperson of the Women's Auxiliaries Council of Children's Hospital, United Community Council, Volunteer Action Center, Community Information and Referral Services, the Columbus Airport and Aviation Commission, and the Franklin University Board of Trustees; and president of the Bexley Board of Education. She was the recipient of the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Julian Sinclair Smith Lifelong Learning Award, and was twice named the Columbus Citizen-Journal's Woman of the Year. At the age of 82 she became a nationally bestselling author with her first book, "It Must Have Been Moonglow: Reflections on the First Years of Widowhood," and followed it with two more, "Shedding Years" and, with her daughter, "Designated Daughter: The Bonus Years with Mom." In her final months, even though confined to her bed, she inspired people around the world when the BBC television network came to Columbus to feature her in a documentary about remaining vital and involved in old age; she received letters of gratitude and admiration from viewers in 51 countries. Mrs. Greene was especially thankful to 3 wonderful caregivers who saw her lovingly through to the end: Rosalyn Gardner, Lise Urujeni, and Michelle Paxton. Services for Mrs. Greene will be held at Temple Israel, 5419 E. Broad St., at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Contributions in her honor may be made to Mount Carmel Hospice, the Bexley Public Library, and the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Feb. 26 to Feb. 28, 2011
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