In tribute: Educator put family first

By Kevin Wilson
CNJ staff writer
kwilson@cnjonline.com

Sister, teacher, mother, speaker, singer. Those are five of many things people would associate with Ange Green as an adult.

Part of the reason she may have been so good at each could be that she didn’t wait to be an adult to start doing most of them.

Family members said Green, who died Feb. 18 in Clovis at the age of 81, always put the family first, despite a busy life of educating at both Highland Elementary and First Church of God.

“She was always dedicated,” daughter Angela Clark said. “She never put anything else before her family. She was loving. She always empowered us to persevere through difficulties, through challenges. She always had confidence in us.”

Ange Green

Ange Green

Born Aug. 18, 1932 in Roxton, Texas, Green was the first of 11 children — eight girls, three boys —and as the oldest, the mother role often fell to her when the parents were working.

John A. Dawson, a younger brother by seven years, said Ange was often tasked with keeping him in line. He joked that at the time, he didn’t know just how difficult he made that task.

“My mom always told us to learn our prayers at night. I think I told (Ange) one time that boys aren’t supposed to say their prayers,” Dawson said with a laugh. “I got a whooping (from Ange).”

But Dawson also remembers Ange would often be the one to read to them, and the story of what pig went to market and what pig stayed home doesn’t sound right unless his sister is the one telling it.

She moved to Clovis in 1951 with family, and soon attended First Church of God. It was there she met W. Charles Green. They were married that same year, and in 1957 he was appointed pastor.

W. Charles — who said he had a lovely marriage and life with Ange — also pastored churches in Tucumcari, Artesia and Roswell, and had Ange as a co-pastor for the last few years.

“I see my role as being an example to the younger women on biblical moral standards,” Ange said in a 2007 interview with the Clovis News Journal.

She was always teaching, whether it was at the church, in the Philippines on a teaching mission, at Highland Elementary for more than 27 years or even at home.

Clark remembers as a second grader being teased about her name, and how devastating it was for a girl that age to repeatedly hear classmates call her “Angela Green Bean,” though it now sounds funny to the Fort Worth educator.

“She told me, ‘Angela, it’s OK,’” Clark said. “‘You’re my daughter. Be proud of your name.’”

What she taught siblings and her children lasted a lifetime, Clark said. She taught all three daughters how to sew, made most of their clothes and their Easter dresses and even got each daughter a sewing machine and cabinet. Clark has used those materials to make dresses for her own daughter, as well.

The teaching kept going, though it felt like just conversation at the end. Clark said she would call at least once a week, and some siblings would call multiple times per day, and remembers a $500 phone bill before cell phones helped out long-distance charges. No matter how often the calls came from all six siblings, she always found time for her children.

“I knew from her example that every decision I made would affect the life of my child,” Clark said. “In that aspect, she was an excellent influence on me.”