Col. Donald Green, USAF Ret., PhD, J.D. age 95, peacefully passed away on May 21, 2012, at Riverside Regional Medical Center following a stroke. He was the son of James Green and Elizabeth Green and born in Missoula, Montana.
After attending Creighton Preparatory Academy in Omaha, Nebraska as a teen, Don attended Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas before being commissioned as a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps and becoming an ace fighter pilot during World War II. He flew combat missions in both the European and Pacific theaters.
Don’s favorite plane of the war was the P-38 and he was the squadron commander of his unit. By age 26, Don had flown countless combat missions, had been shot down twice, and had attained the rank of Major. He earned numerous combat awards and distinctions including the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart.
After the war Don returned to Washburn to finish his degree and there he met and married the love of his life, Mary, to whom he was married for 65 years. They had four children. Don retired from the Air Force after 24 years and moved his family to the San Francisco Bay area where he became the Dean of the business department at Chabot College in Hayward, and later, a college professor with the California State College system.
After retiring from teaching he obtained his PhD in business administration at age 70, and later, his law degree at age 92. He loved learning and until the time of his death continued to take courses in economics, computer science, the Catholic religion, and other areas of interest.
Don treasured his Irish roots and treasured his close family relations in Limerick and Dublin, Ireland. He visited Ireland several times and on his last visit received a commendation from County Limerick at a ceremony held in his honor.
Don was also a member of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick as is his son, Danny Green and his grandson, Capt. Patrick Green, USMC. Don left instructions that part of his ashes be scattered at the old Celtic cross atop Galteemor, the highest peak in the Galtee Mountains in County Limerick.
By far, Don’s favorite songs were “Galway Bay”, “Danny Boy” and “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”. He loved his Guinness and Jameson Irish Whisky.
Don is survived by his loving wife, Mary; his four children Danny Green (Jana), Patty Green Goodman (Larry) of Castro Valley, CA, Peggy Green Wilson (Don) of Carson City, NV and Linda Morgan (Bob) of Lawrence, KS, and his grandchildren, whom he loved dearly, Capt. Patrick Green, USMC, Katie Green Goodman and Jothan and Page Frakes.
A Catholic Mass was held in Don’s honor May 25, 2012 at the Chapel at Air Force Village West, Riverside, and his ashes were interred nearby at the Riverside National Cemetery, with full military honors, May 26, 2012. The family will have a happy, rollicking, music filled Irish wake and Hooley celebrating Don’s life upon the return of Captain Green from his current tour in the Middle East.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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