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Gladys Green transitioned from this world in her home quietly surrounded by her loving family, on March 28. She was widely known as someone who lived life on her terms — a bright light in the community and in the lives of her family and friends. She was 98.
For more than 40 years, she served in leadership for her community, as a neighborhood activist and community champion for low-income and underserved residents and as a driving force in successful efforts to curb gun violence and advance businesses and social programs to address needs in the District 7 community and throughout the City of Oakland and Alameda County.
Active in the community in many ways, Mrs. Green was chair of the Alameda County-Oakland Community Action Partnership (AC-CAP) Board for the last 25 years and a member for approximately 28 years. On the board, she worked to eliminate poverty and blunt its impacts, improve the community by creating pathways that lead to economic empowerment and prosperity.
Among her many awards and recognitions, she was inducted in 2015 into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame for her outstanding community service. In 20013, she received the City of Oakland’s MLK Citizens Humanitarian Award, nominated by the Department of Human Services.
Summing up her life in her own words, she said, “I have had a very good life with no regrets, I’ve been blessed.”
She was born Dec. 20, 1923 in Mississippi to Myrtis and Clarence Lewis, Sr. The family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana when Gladys was six months old. She was active in her father’s church, teaching and working.
She married her high school sweetheart George Green when he returned from World War II. The couple moved to Oakland in 1946 to escape the Jim Crow South and shortly thereafter her parents, brothers and cousins followed her.
The couple had four children: Joy, Charles, Glenn and Beverly. She had nine grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Mrs. Green and her husband were members of the Amigos De Porres social club. Members of the club were former New Orleanians who moved to the Bay Area, holding black tie formals, Sunday afternoon teas, luncheons and cocktail parties. Their friendships spanned more than 50 years.
She loved to cook and to be surrounded by family and friends.
During the holidays, she hosted dinners for family and friends. No one left the house without plates of food and a gift.
Her love for the Golden State Warriors was remarkable. She never missed a game and would go over play by play yelling at the TV if the referee called a foul against the Warriors.
Mrs. Green enjoyed traveling. She visited Mexico, Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Italy, France, Spain, Colombia, and traveled throughout the United States including Alaska, and Hawaii.
In 1962, she and her husband became parishioners of Saint Benedict’s Catholic Church. She was active for 60 years in the church, where she served as Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, was an electoral and Eucharistic Minister, St Vincent DePaul Representative for St. Benedict, Peter Claver, Ladies Auxiliary, with the Cartagena Award.
She was preceded in death by her husband George, her son Glenn, both parents and three brothers.
She leaves to mourn her passing, Joy Green-Armstrong, Charles Green, Beverly Green and many nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and numerous dear friends.
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