Stephen Alan Green, 85
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Stephen A. Green died on September 12, 2023, in his beloved home of North Adams, MA. While no one could quite believe it, he was 85 years old and by all appearances healthy, though his heart had other ideas. We, his family, like to think that he gave so much of his heart to others that he simply ran out.
Steve was born on August 27, 1938, in New York, NY, the son of Alan Green and Gladys Blun Green. He grew up in New York, NY and in Westport, CT, the middle of three sons. While his brothers were star students and went on to become academics at major universities, Steve would not mind us sharing that he was a struggling student who failed out of college in his first two attempts. At a loss for what to do, he enrolled in the Army and went into basic training in Louisiana which was the fodder for many funny stories. Following his discharge, he ended up in New York City as a manager at Gimbels department store. In a chance encounter with an old friend, he was hired for a job doing coding on a sociological study and he realized that he found his calling. The leader of that project encouraged him to get a degree in sociology from City College of NY. He landed his dream job teaching at North Adams State College in 1973 and received his PhD in sociology from City University of NY in 1978.
Steve met his wife, Sue, through a friend. As his mother said, “We knew when we met her that she was it.” They were married in his parents’ backyard in Westport, CT in 1971.
Over the course of his 36-year career at NASC (now Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts), Steve served as professor of sociology, chair of the sociology department, and in various administrative roles, ultimately serving as Vice President of Academic Affairs under the leadership of Mary Grant, his former student and dear friend. Owing to his own life’s journey as a struggling student who returned to college as an adult, his passion was always for the college’s many non-traditional students, for whom he was a friend, mentor, cheerleader, and advocate. Steve was also a huge fan of MCLA athletics, and he could often be found on the sidelines cheering on his beloved Trailblazers.
Steve’s study of sociology piqued his interest in how communities could thrive and led to a collaboration with Al Bashevkin, who had a vision to build a coalition of community agencies. Thus was born Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, of which Steve was a board member for many years. Over the years, he received many awards for his work in the community. Never one to toot his own horn, Steve would not want them enumerated in his obituary. One of the most fun and meaningful ways he engaged with the community was when he co-chaired the pledge campaign for Northern Berkshire United Way with his wife, Sue, over two successive years. In retirement, Steve enjoyed volunteering with the Al Nelson Food Pantry in North Adams.
Steve was so many things to so many people. A partner, a dad, a grandpa, a brother, a fan, a friend. He loved people and always saw the good in everyone. He was a faithful correspondent, and the chief thank-you note writer for every community enterprise in which he engaged; when he died, he left behind his ever-present stack of thank-you notes and a list of those to whom he wished to thank.
Steve leaves his wife and life partner of 52 years, Susanne Walker; his two daughters, Julie Green (Bill Murray) of Amherst, MA and Caroline Green Christopoulos (Ezekiel) of Asheville, NC and New York, NY; his three granddaughters, Lianne Murray, Corinne Murray, and Cosima Green Christopoulos; his much loved former foster granddaughter Khamille; two brothers, Christopher Green of B’aie d’Urfe, Quebec and Thomas Green of Oberlin, OH. He also leaves behind his “son” Charlie the shih tzu whom he spoiled mercilessly.
FUNERAL NOTICE: In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Al Nelson Food Pantry or the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. The family in conjunction with MCLA will hold a celebration of Steve’s life on Saturday, December 2 at 1pm at the Amsler Gymnasium on the MCLA campus. To add to the book of memories please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com
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