By Virginia Whitehead Breeze
Perhaps it was because she was the youngest of five we thought she was special. Perhaps it was her large eyes, wide-spaced and bright. Perhaps it was because she was sweet and even-tempered. It was, perhaps, all that I've written. It was also more.
When Anne Whitehead Greene, 65, born December 6, 1947, died November 4 in Mt. Vernon, WA, of complications related to cancer, my sister Page and I not only lost a sister, we lost a special friend-someone who related well to everyone because she genuinely enjoyed being with people. Shy and sometimes hesitant as a child and teenager, she grew into an outgoing, warm, thoughtful, talented, gracious, sophisticated adult.
Following in the footsteps of older siblings isn't easy. One had become a high-school basketball star; another, a nurse; another, a journalist; and her favorite sister-Suellen (her little mother)-had she lived longer, I am sure, would have become an Episcopalian priest.
Anne, however, held her own. In a high-school class that included a former Attorney General/Mayor of Juneau and an Alaska State Senator now working as Director of Alaska Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior, Anne was valedictorian of the Juneau-Douglas High School class from which all three graduated in 1966. In 1970 she graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in occupational therapy, followed by an internship at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D. C. She practiced her profession for a number of years in the San Francisco Bay area before choosing another life path.
At Highland General Hospital in Oakland, Anne met Joe Greene, then an intern, who became an adult and child psychiatrist. Anne and Joe were married ten years. Joe remembers Anne as a warm, loving, sensitive woman, and an excellent cook. After the marriage ended, Anne chose to travel the world with Frank Morris, with whom she shared her life as a partner for 27 years. Together they visited almost every country, learning about history and lifestyles, making friends with locals, absorbing culture, then returning home-first to Alameda, and later to Mt. Vernon.
Anne and Frank's last major journey, a year ago, was a three-month round-the-world trip, with stops in 22 countries, visiting old favorites and seeing good friends.
Because Anne enjoyed cooking and entertaining, she had thought of opening a small restaurant, but gave up the idea when she realized it would limit other interests. This past August she and Frank held an open house to show friends their remodeled kitchen, living and dining rooms. Anne prepared halibut ceviche, Portuguese bean soup, rolled-up sandwiches (the kind our mother made for tea parties), Feta cheese squares, and lemon bars. She wrote she was "pretty proud" of her efforts considering her own decreasing appetite.
Loving Juneau, she returned often to visit. Over the past (close to 50) years, Anne never missed a Class of 1966 reunion, and she regularly attended the annual Juneau-Douglas Picnic in Seattle. She was also a driving force behind regular visits with nine of her UW Alpha Chi Omega sorority sisters.
Anne was predeceased by her parents, Dr. William and Dorothy Whitehead of Juneau; her brother, Stuart; and sister, Suellen Whitehead Woolfolk. She is survived by her partner, Frank Morris; two sisters, Virginia Breeze of Juneau, and Page Merrill of Salem, OR; by numerous nieces and nephews; and by relatives in Alaska, Washington State, and Virginia.
Anne requested no services be planned. Friends are asked, instead, to remember Anne in their thoughts and prayers.
Published in The Juneau Empire on Nov. 26, 2013