Kimber Green, 84
Kimber Greene died peacefully at his home on Green Lake on Tuesday, Nov. 3, in his last days surrounded by family and love.
He was born on March 12, 1936 in Chicago to Helen Troy (Paris) and Clay Marshall Greene.
Kimber spoke of fond memories of his childhood in Oak Park, remarking that “all of Chicago was our Sunday playground. For a few cents for the El, bus or streetcar one could get to the museums, zoos and ballparks.”
While he was a White Sox fan at heart, he often told stories of watching Cubs games on his Uncle Guy’s rooftop with family and neighborhood friends. These formative years in Oak Park were during World War II and he also told stories of ration lines, knitting caps and gloves at school, and collecting scrap metal and old clothing to support the war effort.
In 1947, Kimber and his family moved to the Turner House across from Douglas Beach in Douglas, where they had spent their summer vacations for many years. Shortly thereafter, they moved down to the Judge Barrett house at Wiley and Lakeshore Drive.
He graduated in 1954 from Saugatuck High School, where he played varsity baseball and basketball. He went on to study at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and Western Michigan University. receiving a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in education.
Kimber became a teacher in 1961. His first teaching position was at Bard Junior High school in Benton Harbor, where he also coached basketball.
He married Barbara Louise Hope in September 1962. They were married for 58 years with two children: David Clay Greene (1963) and Kimberly Ellen Greene (1965).
Kimber and Barbara moved to Wyoming, Mich., in 1963 when Kimber began teaching for Kentwood Public Schools. He was a teacher at East Kentwood until retirement in 1994, teaching U.S. history and American government.
Kimber enjoyed winter canoe and camping trips on the Pine River near Cadillac each February with fellow teachers, telling stories of melting orange juice over the fire and accidentally burning socks. He also enjoyed camping with his family every summer, packing up the brown Chevy wagon and pop-up camper, traveling for weeks every summer across the U.S. and Canada. Travelling became a lifetime pursuit traveling the world with his family and friends.
He was an avid runner who ran the River Bank Run for the first time in 1979. He ran for many years with family and friends, running hundreds of 10Ks and other road races. He also loved golf, which he began playing as a young man in Saugatuck where he worked as a caddy. In retirement he worked at Briarwood Golf Course and played in local golf leagues for years.
Kimber was an accomplished woodcarver who started in 1982 when Barbara wanted to get a carved duck and he decided to try and make it for her. This began a life-long passion. He eventually became a prolific carver and teacher, joined the Woodland Carvers and was their president from 1997 to 2008.
Kimber is lovingly remembered and missed by his wife of 58 years, Barbara Louise (Hope) Greene, son David Clay Greene (Sallie Lynn Birdsley), daughter Kimberly Ellen Greene, grandchildren Mallory Leigh (Greene) Maghielse (Chad) and Casey Lauren Greene, brother Robert Campbell Greene (Sherry Kalisz), sister-in-law Norma Jean (Gotham) Greene, sister-in-law Mary Ellen (Hope) Newton and many nieces and nephews.
Kimber is preceded in death by his parents Helen Troy (Paris) and Clay Marshall Greene, his brothers Marshall John Greene and Bruce Oliver Greene (Anne Margaret Outram (Amo) Greene)
A small family burial is planned for December and the family hopes to have a memorial celebration to honor his life next August.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center and Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF).
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