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Daphne Dibble Greene Wilkins

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Daphne Dibble Greene Wilkins Obituary
Daphne Dibble Greene Wilkins October 3, 1929 - May 5, 2012 Daphne Greene Wilkins (Daphne DuVal Dibble) died peacefully at home on May 5, 2012. Known best for her vivacious personality, elegant beauty, athleticism, and honesty, Daphne was 82 years old. Raised in Woodside before moving to San Francisco and then Marin County, Daphne was from a pioneer California family. Her great-grandfathers, Judge Henry Clay Dibble and Thomas Benton Bishop, were both prominent San Francisco attorneys in the late 1800's. Her great-grandmother, Josephine Hall Bishop, was the daughter of James Hall, who was broadly recognized for his ground-breaking work in geology and paleontology and a founding member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Mrs. Bishop was a world traveler and art collector. Her collection survives at the Bancroft Library and the De Young Museum. Daphne attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Menlo Park, and graduated from Sarah Dix Hamlin's School in 1948. Always fiercely independent, she moved into her own apartment and worked at Shell Oil in the automobile touring division, which gave her the opportunity to travel throughout California. In 1951, she married A. Crawford Greene Jr. also a Californian native. As the mother of six children (which included Daphne's niece and nephew), Daphne brought a zest for life to all she did, from serving as a Girl and Cub Scout leader to hosting ladies' wreath-making days or swimming with her children at Secret Harbor, Aptos or Stinson Beach. There was never a dull moment at the Greenes, and as the children grew, so too did Daphne's world. Their Willow Hill home in Ross was an intellectual crossroads. Dinner guests included architect Louis Kahn, existential psychologist Rollo May, leading Catholic historian Msgr. John Tracy Ellis, women's rights activists Alan Alda and Gloria Steinham and countless others. Regardless of age or background, Daphne always treated every guest with the same warmth, respect and personal interest. In 1971, Daphne became the first female Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Berkeley-based Graduate Theological Union, a consortium of nine independent theological schools, and remained a Trustee Emeritus throughout her life. Known for her hands-on leadership style and direct approach, among her many accomplishments, Daphne led the multi-year effort to fund, design and build the beautiful Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, which houses one of the largest collections of theological books in the United States. An early adopter of inter-faith cooperation, she hosted the first-ever meeting between the Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco and Episcopal Bishop of Northern California at her home in 1972. A prolific fundraiser, Daphne served on the Board of Trustees at Grace Cathedral, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Board of Directors of the Hastings Center, and the Pt. Reyes Bird Observatory. In 1984, she was knighted as a member of the Order of St. John, an honor bestowed upon her by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her community service. In 1991, her fundraising prowess was formally recognized by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives. When two of her children were recruited into Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church in 1973, Daphne turned her unbridled energy and considerable intellect to understanding and challenging its recruiting methods and questionable financial practices. A world-wide resource on the Church, she twice testified before Congressional Committees investigating these matters and served as a key resource for their published reports. Daphne loved the outdoors and deeply appreciated the beauty of the land in the Bay Area. She believed strongly in the need to protect and ensure public access to it. So when Daphne was asked by Rogers Morton, Secretary of the Interior under President Ford, to serve on the original Advisory Commission to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Pt. Reyes National Seashore, she jumped at the chance. Appointed in 1974, she remained a Commissioner until 1994. The Commission helped create, protect and assure access to the largest National Park unit in an urban area in the country. In 1996, Daphne married Henry H. Wilkins of Ross. The two were inseparable at home and in their travels to Hawaii and elsewhere. According to Daphne they had "the love affair of a lifetime." Henry died in 2007 at age 95. Daphne was a member of the Lagunitas Country Club, the Town and Country Club and the Villa Traverna. Daphne Greene Wilkins, is survived by her six children: Ford Greene of San Anselmo; Tina Greene of Sacramento; Oliver Dibble of Woodacre; Catherine Greene Ono of Boston, MA; Alexandra Dibble Pitts of Fair Oaks, CA; and Daphne Greene, Jr. of Kentfield; and seven grandchildren: Oliver Dibble V; Palmer Brown; Suja and Songja Ono; and, Rory, Ogden and Graham Pitts. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 2:00 p.m., on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at St. Anselm Church in Ross. Gifts of remembrance may be made to the Red Cross, Friends of Filoli, or a .
Published in Marin Independent Journal from May 10 to May 14, 2012
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