Fred W. Green obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Fred W. Green

July 1, 1916 - March 20, 2015

Obituary


Fred W. Green, Jr. was born July 1, 1916 in Osceola, Nebraska. He passed away at age ninety-eight in Long Beach, California where he had lived since 1941. He died peacefully of old age, relatively pain free, and without significant disease. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Edward and Mervin, two sisters, Emma and Minerva, four half brothers Floyd, John, Roy and Harry and one half sister, Neola. Minerva and Mervin were twins. Fred was survived by two sons, Jerry and Danny, seven grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren and five great great grandchildren.

Fred W. Green, Jr. was born July 1, 1916 in Osceola, Nebraska. He passed away at age ninety-eight in Long Beach, California where he had lived since 1941. He died peacefully of old age, relatively pain free, and without significant disease. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Edward and Mervin, two sisters, Emma and Minerva, four half brothers Floyd, John, Roy and Harry and one half sister, Neola. Minerva and Mervin were twins. Fred was survived by two sons, Jerry and Danny, seven grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren and five great great grandchildren.

Fred's father who was born in 1874 in Illinois was Fred W. Green, but he was also known as Friedrich Joseph Green. The Green family came from Hanover in Germany and settled near Chicago in the 1870's. Fred's father married Emmaline Giles, and they had two boys, Roy and Harry who went by the last name Greene. Around 1911, Fred's father left Chicago and moved to Osceola, Nebraska where he married Fred's mother, a widow.

Fred's mother, Keziah "Kizzie" Mae White was born in 1879 in Oskaloosa, Iowa. She married John Alva Wisely and lived in Osceola, Nebraska. They had two boys, Floyd and John, and a girl, Neola who Fred always called "Sis." After her husband died, she was re-married to Fred's father around 1911. Together they had five children, Emma, Edward, the twins, Mervin and Minerva, and Fred. Fred dearly loved his mother and frequently said that no finer woman ever lived. For a while, all eight kids and their parents lived in the same house. The parents had a bedroom, the girls had a bedroom, and the boys slept where they could in the living room.

Although Osceloa was a small farming community of about 1,000 people, it was also the county seat for Polk County and the courthouse was there. Fred's family was poor and lived in town. Fred was often hungry not having enough to eat at home. The Great Depression started in 1929 when Fred was thirteen. His stories about his childhood included tales of mischief around Osceloa.

Fred and his friends stole fruit from the farmers who came into town to sell their produce. He hunted ground squirrels for a farmer who paid a bounty, but he got most of squirrels from the cemetery where they were easy to catch with a string noose. He sometimes sold a stolen chicken to the man who ran the market and when the merchant put the purchased chicken in a pen behind the store, Fred would sometimes take it out of the pen and around to the front door to sell it again. Later in life he said that the farmers and merchants probably were not been fooled by his mischief at all and instead it was just their way of helping his family get enough to eat.

Fred's mother baked bread once a week and he often told stories about the wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen when it was in the oven. She also made his favorites -- corn starch pudding and suet pudding. After being hungry for much of his childhood, he enjoyed eating throughout the rest of his life. Nothing made him happier than a steak dinner or a sweet melon, or ice cream. During all of his later life, he marveled at his being rich enough to afford all the food he wanted.

Fred graduated from Osceola High School in 1934, the height of the Depression. There were no jobs so in the fall he went back to the high school and asked to take more classes so he could learn new skills. Eventually, he landed what was considered a very good job with the County in the payroll department. It paid a whopping $75 per month.

In January 1939 Fred married Rose Lenore Bachman, a farmer's daughter from Shelby seven miles from Osceola. They liked to go dancing at Bernt's Restaurant on the highway. They loved listening to the jukebox there and occasionally a bus would come into town with an orchestra that played on Saturday nights. Their son Jerry was born that year.

Although Fred had a very good job with the county and they had rented a house in town and were starting a family, Fred decided he had to relocate. He suffered severely from hay fever. The doctor told him, "You have to move. You can go east or west, but you have to go all the way to the salt air at the ocean." Fred's brother Ed was living in Los Angeles at the time and he encouraged Fred to move there to work at Johns Manville where Ed was working.

In 1941 Fred temporarily left Lenore and Jerry in Nebraska and took a train to Los Angeles with a plan to get established there and send for them as soon as he could. It was the start of World War II and Fred was in the draft category 1-A, subject to being called to duty at anytime. He remained 1-A throughout the war, but he was never called. Sometimes he regretted not volunteering for military service, but his job was in the manufacturing of war materials and he didn't want to leave his wife and young son. He was soon set up in an apartment in Long Beach and Lenore and Jerry joined him there.

During the 1950's Fred left Johns Manville and started working as a bookkeeper for an oil company on Signal Hill. He bought a small house on the west side of Long Beach. Danny was born in 1949. Fred continued working for that little oil company until 1960 when the owners retired and Fred took over the company by forming a new corporation, Aromalene Oil Co, Inc. He bought a new house in Long Beach near the airport in 1961.

The oil business was good to him and Fred saved enough money to retire when he was 62. He said, "If I have my house paid for, a new car, and $100,000 in savings, I have enough to retire. What more could I possibly need?" As it turned out, he had enough and his savings grew, despite what he pulled out every year for living expenses, and at the end he had many times more in savings that he started with. When he retired, he said he would probably live to be about seventy. He was wrong, but he always had enough money to have what he wanted and to help his two sons buy houses and go to college. He wanted his boys to be better off that he was.

Fred and Lenore loved to travel. They went to Hawaii, Europe, China, Japan, and Alaska among other places. And, sometimes they would just "head up the coast" in their car not knowing how far they would get or where they would spend each night. Often they went as far as Oregon. Fred also loved fishing. He fished for lake trout, albacore, and marlin. He also liked to bowl and golf. He was on a championship scratch bowling team in the 1950's and shot a hole-in-one on the local golf course in Long Beach.

Lenore passed away in 1985. Fred loved her very much and he missed her for the rest of his life. Fred often said he was happy for the seven years he had with her after he retired when they traveled to so many exotic places. But, he felt her life ended prematurely. After her death he met a new companion, Vivian Burnett at the Methodist church. They became good friends and traveled many places together, but Fred never remarried. Vivian preceded Fred in death by a few years.

Fred was an overachiever. He seemed to always be happy with his station in life and satisfied with what he had attained. He was very proud of his two boys and their accomplishments. He loved his little house in Long Beach where he lived for fifty-four years. In later life, he bought a new Cadillac every five years when the DMV handed him a renewed driver license. He loved going to the coffee shop to meet his buddies in the morning and going to Hof's restaurant for lunch every day. We should all be so lucky as to live so successfully.

Fred W. Green, Jr.
July 1, 1916 to March 20, 2015
Beloved Husband and Father

A visitation will take place on Sunday, March 29, 2015 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm in the Westminster Memorial Park Main Chapel. Services will be held on Monday, March 30, 2015 at 12:00 noon in the Westminster Memorial Park Main Chapel with a graveside service to follow. Arrangements under the direction of Westminster Memorial Park, 14801 Beach Blvd. Westminster, CA 92683. (714) 893-2421.