OBIT: Dorothy Green, World Traveler, World Volunteer

She volunteered or worked in each country where she and her husband lived.

Photo courtesy of Marilyn Green.
Photo courtesy of Marilyn Green.
Submitted by Marilyn Green.

Dorothy Green, beloved mother and grandmother, died peacefully in her home in Malibu, surrounded by her family, on April 7, 2014, at the age of 94.

Born August 14, 1919 in Canada, she grew up in Iowa and moved to California after meeting and marrying Chuck Green. Their 67-year marriage lasted until his death in 2011. Unable to attend college during the depression, while raising their two children in Santa Monica, she attended Santa Monica College and earned her BA from UCLA.

Then Chuck changed careers and joined the Foreign Service. They lived overseas in Colombia (twice), the Dominican Republic, Peru, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Dorothy willingly moved from place to place. She was always the first to say yes to a new assignment and never complained even when they were assigned to go to Vietnam during the war. Chuck said he would only take the assignment in Saigon if his wife could go too, so she was one of a small number of wives who was allowed to go there during the war. 

She volunteered or worked in each country where they lived. In Colombia she worked in a childcare center and the bi-national center library. In the Dominican Republic she worked in an orphanage. In Vietnam she began working for the IRS, whose agents were chasing war profiteers. Later she joined the Drug Enforcement Agency during a time when large amounts of heroin were being shipped illegally through Vietnam to the US. In their second assignment in Colombia, she continued to work for the DEA when Colombia became the center for cocaine and marijuana. When stationed in Indonesia, she taught English, administered the TESOL exam, and volunteered with student exchange programs.

A true adventurer, she was a fearless traveler who made friends all over the world. She took packs of teenagers every weekend to the beach in the Dominican Republic; managed to navigate scooters, cabs, and buses while mastering driving on the left side of the streets in Jakarta; and spoke fluent Spanish and Indonesian. 

She and Chuck were among the first to travel to China when it opened to tourism. On her own, she toured the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries
long before the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1970s, when travel there was exceptionally limited. Another of her amazing solo adventures was an open-boat voyage up the Mahakam River in Borneo, where she visited the Dyak tribes. 

Dorothy was a natural and talented athlete. Growing up, she danced tap and ballet, rode horses, did gymnastics, and enjoyed roller and ice skating. She loved tennis and swimming. Living in Malibu, she walked from Point Dume to Trancas once a week, and swam for an hour a day, into
her mid eighties.

Her passion for education was expressed through helping both children and grandchildren pay for college and graduate degrees. An avid reader, books were everywhere in her home and wherever they lived she started a lending library. The complex where they lived in Malibu still has a “take one-leave one” library bearing her name.
Tamara May 04, 2014 at 03:11 PM
Honored to have produced this video report on her contribution to Heal The Bay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3gg_LUTfsc
M Stanley May 04, 2014 at 10:18 PM
Tamara, the person for whom you produced the video report passed away in 2008. Please remove your post to avoid any distress to the grieving family of this lovely woman. I find your post in poor taste and possibly a veiled attempt to gain traffic to your own video.


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