Friday, April 8, 2011

farewell, Mom Green

Mom Green

Yesterday, Oakland said farewell to one of its heroes, Cora "Mom" Green. I blogged about her last year when Oakland Firefighters Random Acts gave Mom a lifetime achievement award.

Mom spent pretty much her whole life making the world a better place. Her family moved to the Bay Area when she was 11. After high school, she went to work at Alta Bates hospital, and eventually earned her nursing degree in 1965. Alta Bates was where she met Doug "Pop" Green, who was the head chef. They married, had a daughter and then moved to Oakland in 1972.

Mom was given enough awards to cover a wall, but she didn't try to get attention for herself. She and Pop volunteered in the community for years, and formalized their efforts in the 90s with the Mom and Pop Green Foundation. She was one of those people who just did things, and if she needed your help, she'd get it, forging relationships with various Bay Area companies, government entities, and sports teams.
"You can't help everybody, but you have to do what you can"
- Mom Green

OFRA Books and Balls

I was blessed to spend time with Mom some years ago at an Oakland Firefighters Random Acts event at Franklin Elementary School. If you look at the picture, you can see Mom on the back of the parade engine, along with various firefighters and Alison Barakat (better known as Bakesale Betty) distributing new playground balls to very happy school children.

last ride

In the last few years, she was slowed by cancer, but not stopped until recently. She died March 30th, 2011. Mom's last journey began at the C.P. Bannon funeral home on the Random Acts parade engine. A police motorcycle escort led the procession up International Blvd. past station 4, around Lake Merritt, and eventually to Bethany Baptist Church. Given how many lives she touched, it was no surprise there was a large turnout to say goodbye to Mom. Representatives of the Oakland police, firefighters, Oakland Raiders, various churches, and councilmember Desley Brooks all spoke about Mom and the impact she had. After a rousing service, Mom was carried to Rolling Hills and buried beside Pop. Family and friends then proceeded to the West Oakland Senior Center for a repast to reflect on Mom and share a meal.

Check out the nice piece on Mom KGO Channel 7.

Mom Green

1 comment:

Dawg said...

Nice tribute Gene, and a huge loss for Oakland. A very sweet woman.