The world lost a gentle spirit when Bernard Wayne Green, 86, departed this life on July 16, 2020, while in the loving care of his family.
Born to Olen and Lenora (Houck) Green on May 16, 1934, Bernard was the fifth of six sons. He was preceded in death by his brothers Carlos, Charles, Lawrence, Paul, and Darryl, who were also his life-long friends. The family moved to Springfield when he was a small boy. He graduated from Springfield High School, where he excelled in academics, cross country, and football, in 1952. Following in the footsteps of older brothers, he enlisted in the Navy shortly after his graduation.
Upon his return home from the Navy, he married Helen (Hibbard) Green, and together they raised five children. An active, involved father, he taught his children many valuable lessons, including the necessity of compassion, the value of hard work, and the importance of honesty. These lessons were mostly given by example, as it was commonplace for him to lend a hand whenever and wherever it was needed. His children regularly witnessed – or accompanied – him on a trip to repair a neighbor’s car, or window, or refrigerator, because it needed doing, and he knew how, and was able to help someone in need. There was nothing mechanical that he couldn’t repair. Through skills learned helping his brothers build homes, he was also an accomplished home repairman, and shared those skills abundantly when a need arose.
He loved spending time in the outdoors. Two favorite activities were hunting and fishing, and he was a skilled marksman who excelled at sport shooting. He had a deep love for animals and recently shared his sadness regarding helping a friend rid his land of unwanted, invading, species, with a granddaughter. He was almost never without a pet and lived in the constant company of 2 cats and 2 dogs for the last several years. They, too, miss him enormously.
For the last 3 years, he has enjoyed the company of other seniors at The Rose Cottage of Fort Worth, where he spent his days playing cards and games, or visiting with friends during the day while his family members were at work.
His greatest love was of his family. When he was no longer able to live independently at home, his children sprang into action. Three bedrooms were readied, in 3 homes, with the plan to share time in each. He first enjoyed time with Nikki and her sons; however, the complexity of his needs required that he remain primarily in one location. For the past several years, he has lived in Fort Worth, in the care of daughter Kelly, son-in-law Roger, and, often, grandson Justin and his wife, Laurel, as well as granddaughter Michelle. This gave Bernard the opportunity to share holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions with his family, as well as many a tea party with his great-granddaughter Caroline. This taught his grandchildren the importance of family, tradition, compassion, caring for others, and the value of familial love. They were given the opportunity to share his legacy back with him in his final days by caring for him, sitting quietly with him, even singing to him to as he made his final journey. There could be no greater gift given, and then shared back. We will all, and each, be better for having experienced this love so freely.
He cherished the time he was able to spend with his children, whether in person or by phone visits, and looked forward to those all. During a recent trip to the zoo, he especially enjoyed feeding giraffes and birds alongside son Mark. There are countless photographs chronicling his joy during family events and visits, most recently for his birthday and Father’s Day.
We will fondly remember marathon Yahtzee games (all won by him, as he had an uncanny ability to roll multiple Yahtzees in a game), hours of jigsaw puzzle building, group participation crossword puzzles, M*A*S*H marathons, flatcaps, and countless cups of tea. And we will be better for it.
Bernie was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, and daughter Lori. He is survived by his children Susan, Kelly (Roger), Mark (Toni) and Nikki, as well as many grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. His legacy will live on in them all, and he will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed.
Viewing will be held on Friday, July 24, 2020 from 1:30p.m. - 3:30p.m. at Jackson Lytle & Lewis Life Celebration Center. Graveside service will begin at 4:15p.m. on Friday at Rose Hill Burial Park. Condolences may be expressed to his family by visiting www.jacksonlytle.com.