Posts Tagged: phyllis green

Probituary, A Notice of Life: Phyllis Green

phyllis-greenPhyllis Green, interviewed by daughter Pat Beck

People around Decorah know Phyllis Green as a bridge player, club member, cookie baker, reliable volunteer, teacher and loyal friend. These qualities, plus a cheerful outlook, and a pragmatic can-do attitude have had a positive effect on people who have known her over eight decades. Phyllis was born August 16, 1928, and grew up on the Erickson family farm near Burr Oak. Though it was during the Great Depression, her life was rich with farm activities, 4-H, church, a sister, cousins, chores, and her pets. She learned the rewards of hard work, of challenging herself, of true love, and of giving.

phyllis_siblingsPhyllis lived in Decorah during her high school years because there were no school buses. She made this big transition shortly after she turned 13; she shared a room with people she didn’t know, cooked for herself, and was introduced to running water and electricity. Decorah High School offered High School Normal Training to prepare teachers for country schools. Phyllis’s long teaching career led to recognition as Scott County Teacher Award, North Scott Community Arts Patron, Iowa Social Studies Teacher of the Year, University of Iowa Distinguished Teacher Award, and The 51st Point of Light given by President Bush.

What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?

I am rather averse to advice. I learn by example. My mother taught me to try new things because that’s how you learn if you can do them or not.

What is the worst advice anyone ever gave you?

Since this is not a part of my thinking, I usually count on my own ideas – sometimes good and sometimes questionable. Isn’t that how you learn?

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was in second grade, my teacher showed me the love and understanding that touched and impressed me. It was in second grade that I set my goal to become a teacher.

When I finished high school, I taught two years in a country school. Then I married K. Ted Green, my life partner. We have five beautiful children. When they were all in school, I started college and completed my degree at Upper Iowa University. Because of Ted’s job with Oscar Mayer, we moved to the Quad Cities. I taught at North Scott Schools for 25 years. Living just 50 miles from The University of Iowa was incentive to continue my education. I completed my MA in two areas and was accepted in the doctoral program. Ted knew I wanted to further my education and he made this dream a reality by his complete support, encouragement, and understanding. These were the building blocks that made my dreams come true. I’ve always been curious about people and places. Ted and I enjoyed foreign travel so this was a part of our yearly plan.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?

I’d want lots of pictures of our family – children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, a good book, paper and a pencil, and a Hershey Bar. I know that is more than three things, but I usually get what I want.

Try to describe yourself in one sentence.

I am a hard worker, an honored wife, a loved mom, grandma, and great-grandma.

If you could eat anything everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A Hershey chocolate bar.

Name one thing you could not live without.

I need a pencil and paper to record my feelings, my wishes, my poetry, my dreams, my stories, my ideas, and to communicate with family and friends – but if I can really have only ONE thing, it would be my family.

phyllis_ted_weddingTell us about your favorite memory.

I will never forget meeting Ted. I was at the county fair when a friend introduced us. He was the county boys’ 4-H president and I was the county girls’ 4-H president but we had never met. I finished high school, taught two years and Ted went to Madison to start his career.

Our wedding day started 63 years of “favorite memories.” We were married at Upper Lutheran Church and had our wedding reception at the Winneshiek Hotel.  We were blessed with four sons and one daughter. Each birth, baptism, confirmation, graduation, wedding have added to our favorite memories.

Also our 60th wedding party, planned by our children, was also held at the Hotel Winneshiek. I have so much to be grateful for!

green_family2016

Read the Fall 2016 Inspire(d) Online!

Fall is one of our most favorite times of the year – glorious weather, beautiful leaves, sweaters, hot chocolate, marching bands…we could go on and on! So we’re super excited to bring you the new Fall 2016 Inspire(d) Magazine! Online today, and out on stands starting this weekend!

Here’s what you’ll get to read:

Be an Acorn! • Foster Care in Iowa • Local Politicians Making Their Worlds Better: John Beard, Chuck Gipp, Kurt Friese Alicia Leinberger, and Sarah Schroeder • Q&A with Rosanne Cash • Barn Sales • Fall Art Trips in the Driftless • Make It: Paper Plants • Probit: Phyllis Green • And more! (Click above to read it full-screen, and just hit esc when you want to exit )

Fall 2016 Editor’s Letter:

Aryn_BioFamilyPhoto_Fall16Right now, it’s 5:24 in the morning. I’m dreadfully behind on my magazine deadline, even though this is the third time this week I’ve been up all night – once for flooding, though. Benji’s been on the road for seven weeks living out one of his long-time dreams (living out dreams is something we highly encourage around here), and tomorrow, Roxie and I go to pick him up! Exciting!

I’m not gonna lie – it’s been a lot of work, these past seven weeks, but, man, as I’m reaching all sort of finish lines here tonight, I’m feeling like a mother bleeping champion! Seriously, you might Fall_16_Covereven be able to hear me roar.

And it makes me think about you and me and us, and how we really can do anything we put our minds to.

Somehow, we started this magazine nine years ago in October. It’s far from being “to the nines” (i.e. perfect), but it’s been a whole lot of fun and I truly believe we’ve changed our world – at least a little bit – for the better.

It brings it all around to our cover this magazine: “Be an acorn.” I’ve said this ever since my Ralph Waldo Emerson kick in college. His quote is, “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” Boom. That sums up everything behind our mission for Inspire(d) – small changes can lead to big world changes. Be an acorn, man!

There are lots of acorns in this issue.

Folks changing the world through politics, like John Beard, Chuck Gipp, Kurt Friese Alicia Leinberger, and Sarah Schroeder (pg. 14).

Others trying to help, care for, and inspire some of the nearly 6,000 kids in foster care here in Iowa (pg. 34).

Others still, living out their dreams of being artists and being successful – you can visit artists all around the region in the fall during studio art tours or at cool art festivals and more (pg. 52).

There’s also a lot of fun in this issue (and in the region in the fall): Barn Sales (pg. 26), outdoor dining, (pg. 9), and great music and performances all over the Driftless.

Speaking of performances, make sure you check out Rosanne Cash’s performance at Luther College November 12, and before you go, check out my interview with the prolific singer/songwriter. I had a blast chatting with her on the phone, even though I always get so nervous about stuff like that!

The top of my fun list always includes a road trip too – we’ve gotten pretty good at packing the car and getting ready, so don’t miss our little essentials guide at the end of the mag (pg. 64). I’m hoping to put that list to good use, because, seriously, as I was putting this magazine together and I was all, “I want to go to Mineral Point! I want to go to Soldiers Grove! I want to go to see Rosanne Cash! I want…”

RoxiePreschoolPicApparently, there are a bunch of things I want to do this fall. We hope you feel the same way!

Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

P.S.

Roxie started pre-school this fall! Ahh! How is that possible. We thought you, dear readers, might want to know. ‘Cause, you know…you’re family! Thanks for sticking with us for NINE years! Whew! XOXO