David Arthur Green died Monday, March 3, 2014 in his home surrounded by his family and friends. David was born on July 12, 1938 in Fort Madison, Iowa to Florence and Clifton Green. David was the youngest of three boys. He felt privileged to grow up with two brothers, Clif and Dick, who are seven and nine years older. He enjoyed living out west in California and Colorado where he could be involved in the out of doors, hiking, and biking.
Some of the fond memories of high school and college days were traveling to Scotland as an exchange student, summer jobs at the Lodge at Meeker Park, Colorado, teaching the slide rule to college freshmen, taking ballroom dancing for PE, summer jobs with the Park Service and meeting his wife, Vernita, at the University of Colorado Wesley Foundation.
David's education included a Bachelor's Degree in Architectural Engineering and Business with an extra year of Liberal Arts to make an engineer more well-rounded. After working for Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio as their lighting and acoustical expert, he changed directions and began to pursue a Master's Degree in Studies in Aging in the first class form North Texas State University in Denton, Texas. One of his joys was to be a part of new innovative thinking in the field of aging and to work with the pioneers in his field.
His work experience included working at Otterbein Home in Lebanon, Ohio, Lake Park in Oakland, California, The American Hospital Association in Chicago, Illinois, Bensenville Home in Bensenville, Illinois, and lastly at Evergreen Retirement Community in Oshkosh. After 29 years of service at Evergreen he retired in 2005.
David received a number of honors through the years including Administrator of the Year in Older Adult Ministries of the United Methodist Association of Health and Welfare Ministries in 2003; Award of Honor, AAHSA's highest award in 2005; Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, in 2006 from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; UM Association of Health and Welfare Ministries' Conference Related Unit Leader of the Year in 2010; and Long Term Care's 10 Most Influential People according to Long Term Living in 2011.
David was one of the founders of the Society for the Advancement of Gerontological Environments (SAGE), a founding member of Wellspring Innovation Solutions, and a leader in many other aging organizations. He was an active member of the Oshkosh Southwest Rotary Club
, an adjunct faculty member of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a long time member of Oshkosh Choraliers, and an avid gardener.
David's greatest joy was his family: Vernita, wife of 51 1/2 years, son, Brian Green, daughters, Sarah (Jim) Wright, Rachel (Rod) Soto, and Sheilah (Sam) Vorpahl. He treasured the relationships with his four children as well as his grandchildren - Jesse, Stephen, David, Austin, Emma, Joseph, Olivia, Cana and Selah whose words, songs, and pictures lit up his eyes until moments before his death.
David's family also includes: brothers, Clif (Barbara) and Dick (Sue) Green; nieces and nephews, Susan (David), Steven, Dan (Sue), Ken (Lisa), Nancy (Scott) and Tim (Lorna); great nephews and nieces, Pete, Sydney, Jesse, Philip, Ana, Alyvia, Bryson, Marissa, Emily and Carole; brother-in-law, Don Haas, sister-in-law, Kay Haas; nieces and nephews, Bill, Jon (Penny), Dan, Heather; and great-nephews, Zac and Hunter. He was preceded in death by sisters-in-law, Mary Green and Alberta Haas.
David and Vernita's home was open to many long and short term exchange students, missionaries, and business friends from many countries, many of whom became like family. From those relationships David became known as "Dad" and "American Granddad".
David was a big supporter of Vernita's interest in family history from which much joy and sense of family has been derived. David will be buried in the cemetery with many of Vernita's family in Whitewood, South Dakota.
His retirement years were spent developing Worth-Driven Policy Governance, the Life Model to benefit residents in long term care, and working as Director of Conceptual Development with China Senior Care to develop, the first household model nursing home of its kind in China.
All through his years he was active in a wide variety of leadership roles in his local, district, and conference United Methodist Churches. Most recently, in the last year, he served as Chair of the Wisconsin Conference Health and Welfare Ministries and also Chair of the Mission Team at Wesley UMC. He was an active member of his church, Wesley UMC, singing with the Morning Glories Singers and attending weekly Bible Studies. His Christian faith, founded on Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, was the center of all he did and said.
The family has set up the David A. Green Memorial Fund, with the Wisconsin Conference United Methodist Church Foundation.
David's memorial service will be held at Wesley United Methodist Church, 761 Florida Avenue, Oshkosh, WI, beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 8 with a fellowship time until the service begins at 3 p.m. A light meal for everyone will follow.
David's greatest accomplishment was the personal impact he made on individual lives. He lived out Galatians 6:9-10, So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up, so then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for the family of faith.