Gwendolyn Green, age 85, of Jonesboro, Georgia entered into rest on December 5, 2020.
Celebrating the Life of Gwendolyn Norma Green
September 22, 1935 - December 5, 2020
Gwendolyn Norma Green was born on September 22, 1935 in St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands to Calvin Frederick Joseph and Victoria Elizabeth Stout Joseph.
After being the first in her family to graduate from high school in the U.S. Virgin Islands, she moved to New York. In 1958, she married Walter Green. This union produced two sons: Reginald Lee Green (Sharon) and Maurice Oliver Green (Stephanie).
In 1961, Mrs. Green completed instruction with the City of New York Department of Hospitals Central School for Practical Nurses and received a license to practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse by the University of the State of New York Education Department in 1962.
In addition to being a nurse, Mrs. Green owned and actively participated in businesses with her husband, including G.W.G. Trucking and a candy and comic bookstore in Queens, New York, and a car repair shop in Macon, Georgia. In 1977, within a year of the family moving to Georgia, her husband died in a tragic accident that left her to raise her two young sons. An article written about Mrs. Green in 2002 noted the following after her husband's death:
Although she was stricken, she realized that it was her duty to raise her two sons, Maurice and Reggie. She did not skip a beat. She immediately became an anchor for the family. Mrs. Green did not seek welfare; she did not drown in self-pity.
In addition to raising her sons, Mrs. Green decided to pursue her lifelong passion to become a teacher. As a result, she went to and graduated from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the age of 48. Thereafter, she served as a Special Education Teacher in both the Bibb County Schools and Clayton County Schools in Georgia. She received various honors for her teaching before retiring from Clayton County Schools with more than ten years of teaching in those school systems.
In addition to teaching in the public school systems, Mrs. Green taught with the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), Inc. in metro-Atlanta, Georgia. In 2002, in recognition of her inspiring teaching, the YEP dedicated its educational program as the Gwen Green Learning Center. The same article noted part of her credo, which comes from her empowerment creed that was the philosophy girding the Learning Center and that served as an inspiration for many:
She believes that you should "remember to set your goals--take the opportunity to uncover your natural talents. It can be critical in your search to choose a career that you will find ultimately rewarding. . . . [S]he cautions that "disgruntled people do not give you joy and they have no right to take it away." She says, "Your life should have a blueprint. A life without a plan is like a ship without a compass. It gets nowhere because it lacks direction."
While Mrs. Green certainly enjoyed going to plays and singing performances (she was a regular at the Apollo Theater in New York in her younger days), she was a deeply religious woman who found a Christian church home wherever she lived. She read the Bible constantly, always returning to Psalm 23. Her faith in God was unshakeable. She would often share that it was God's will and grace that allowed her to rise from abject poverty in the Virgin Islands and overcome tragedy to live a wonderful, fulfilling life of comfort and purpose.
Mrs. Green is survived by her sons Reginald (Reggie) Green (Macon, GA) and Maurice (Mo) Green (Greensboro, NC), three grandchildren and a step-granddaughter, and a host of family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that should you be inclined to donate something in Mrs. Green’s honor that you donate it to a Christian church or a nonprofit organization that serves children of special needs.
Final Arrangements Entrusted To: Anthony L. Watkins Funeral Home Jonesboro Chapel "Service with Compassion" 163 North Avenue Jonesboro, Georgia 30236 (678) 479-0806 Anthony L. Watkins, President