John E. Green

Published 2:10 pm Friday, March 27, 2015

Dr. John E. Green, a son of Dr. Earl & Grace Green, born on November 17, 1934, died on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, at his home in Hattiesburg after a brief illness and a life of service to the Hattiesburg community and to his family.



Dr. Green and his wife Gloria enjoyed a blended family consisting of his daughters Donna Claire Green Cornett & husband Robert, Rebecca Ann Green Griffith & husband J.R., Shelley Grace Green Whittington & husband Michael, and Mary Beth Green Thorne & husband Keith, and Gloria’s sons Carl Chester Farmer, Jr. & wife Erin, and Frank Ford Farmer & wife Hadleigh. He was also blessed with 13 grandchildren, Barrett & wife Brittaney Griffith, and Jacob Griffith; Andrew, Grace, & Mary Claire Cornett; Kate, Cole, & William Whittington; Anna Beth, Joshua, Luke, & Linley Thorne; and Layla Farmer. He also had two great-grandchildren, Kaylynn & Brycen Griffith. His brother, William E. Green, and sisters Betty Green Chain and Margaret Green McAndrew, as well as numerous nieces and nephews also survive him.

Dr. Green loved his family and was a dedicated husband and father. He spent large amounts of time leading his children and grandchildren by example, leaving a beautiful legacy. He exuded patience, compassion, and unconditional love, teaching his children and grandchildren to be good stewards of the gifts the Lord has entrusted to them.

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He graduated from Hattiesburg High School in 1952, and followed in the path of his father, Dr. Earl W. Green, who practiced ophthalmology in Hattiesburg for many years. He attended Vanderbilt University from 1952 to 1955, and received his MD degree from Tulane University Medical School in 1959. He completed a rotating internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1960 and spent the fall of 1960 attending Harvard University’s Basic Sciences in Ophthalmology. He completed a three-year preceptorship with Gulf States Eye Surgery Foundation in New Orleans. He joined his father, and others, in Green Clinic (later Green Eye Institute) in Hattiesburg on October 1, 1963, where he practiced ophthalmology until his retirement from the clinic on June 30, 2000. He was a highly respected eye surgeon serving the community for over 37 years.

Dr. John Green retired from the practice of ophthalmology, but he remained very engaged in the community through other avenues of service. He enjoyed spending time at his family land, and actively managed his property as a certified tree farm. He spent several days each week working and attending to the land. He developed a very beautiful, sustainable forest, which is primarily a hard wood swamp; his tree farm has been in operation for over 50 years. Numerous honors were received for his work with the Mississippi Forestry Association (MFA), including the 2004 MFA Tree Farmer of the Year, and 2014 MFA Tree Farm Field Leadership Award. He served the MFA on the board of directors, the executive committee, and the tree farm committee.

He had many exemplary qualities, including a unique ability to see and appreciate beauty in the world around him, and to communicate that beauty to others. He loved the woods and the beauty of a horseshoe lake on his property. He was an avid hunter and fisherman until his retirement years when he just enjoyed watching nature and helping his grandchildren appreciate and enjoy the things he loved. He had the ability to focus on what he wanted to accomplish, and he always planned ahead and enjoyed transferring his tree farm to his children and educating them over the years on its operation.

Dr. John E. Green was a dedicated, respected Christian, and served as a deacon and chairman of deacons at First Baptist Church, a Sunday school teacher, and was a member of University Baptist Church at the time of his death. Continuing the involvement of his family in William Carey College (now William Carey University), he served on the board of trustees for a number of years.

He will be deeply missed by his many friends, so many of whom remained close over a lifetime. He was very generous with friends, and a highlight every year was his annual men’s gathering at his camp. He and his wife Gloria hosted students from the local elementary school and from junior colleges, and afforded students an opportunity to see nature at the camp in a different way.

He enjoyed life, his family, and friends enjoyed him. He will be deeply missed.

In lieu of flowers, it is requested that memorials be given to University Baptist Church, 3200 Arlington Loop, Hattiesburg, MS 39401, or to The Crosby Arboretum, 370 Ridge Road, Picayune, MS 39466.