First Posted: 1/15/2009
PARKTON - David Green's birth certificate lists Greenville, Miss., as his birthplace, but his legacy will be forever etched in Robeson County.
Green dedicated half of his life to the U.S. military, earning the rank and nickname of “major.” The remaining part of his life was spent serving Robeson County and the state in the areas of education, transportation, politics and elderly home care.
Green, a former district representative to the state Department of Transportation board and a longtime member of the county school board, died at his Parkton home on June 30. He was 71.
The visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Wiseman Funeral Home in Fayetteville. The funeral is 11 a.m. Saturday at First Missionary Baptist Church in Parkton.
Friends and colleagues describe Green as a devoted civic leader, prominent businessman and politician who sparked positive change.
“He and I have been longtime friends - not only in politics but in personal associations,” said former state Sen. David Parnell, who lives near the Green family. “He was an exceptional individual. He had a sense of fairness about him. While with the state, he tried to distribute the funds fairly where it would serve the people the best.”
Green moved to Robeson County in 1972 after retiring with 22 years in the military. Green and his wife, Zeddie, opened Green Manor Rest Home in Parkton that year. They later opened rest homes in St. Pauls and one in Greensboro.
“When he came here, he hit the ground running,” said the Rev. John Campbell, who filled Green's unexpired term on the school board in 1995. “He was a community activist and a mover and a shaker. He was a great advocate and an ambassador and he did it in a way that he wouldn't alienate folks.”
Green, retired county Commissioner E.B. Turner and the late Rev. Joy Johnson founded the Robeson County Black Caucus in the late 1970s.
Green was picked by former Gov. Jim Hunt to serve on the state Board of Transportation. He served two consecutive terms, leaving the position in 2001.
“He was a person you could disagree with, but he didn't carry that disagreement to the next fight,” said Robert Deese, who served with Green on the school board. “He was always a gentleman. We need more people like David. He represented his constituents with class.”
Green was elected to the original Robeson County school board in 1976 and served 19 years, including three years as chairman. He was also actively involved during that time with the Robeson County Democratic Party.
“He was a good person and a good friend who exuded a calm influence on people,” said Lumberton Mayor Ray Pennington, past chairman of the county Democratic Party. “He loved doing for people and you always knew where he stood. He always stood by his word.”
Green was one of the highest-ranking blacks in the party. As a second vice chairman, Green declined an offer for the chairmanship, Pennington said.
Campbell said the county has lost a valuable resource.
“Like with Dr. (Joy) Johnson, we have lost a great soldier who stood for human rights, human justice and equality. He fought a good fight.
“Although he wasn't from here, he adopted us and made himself at home,” Campbell said. “We are a better county - not just the African American community. His community service transcends the African American community.”
Green is survived by his wife, Zeddie, a Fairmont native; three sons, David Green Jr., Avery Green, Donald Green; and a daughter, Joann Boyd.