Marvin Green, Judy’s father, passed away on May
Here is his eulogy, written by Marvin’s sister Virginia.
“I never expected to need to write a eulogy for my half-brother Marvin Green. My half-siblings on the Harrington side were not long lived. Marvin’s full sister died 12 years ago. I am 80 so my memories have been faded by the years. Marvin Alfred Green was born in Smackover, Arkansas. His father, Johnny Green was working in the oilfields there. Our mother, Linwood Catherine Sims Green, vividly remembered being on the last train out of the area with infant Marvin in her arms during the huge flooding of the Mississippi River in April of that year. She made her way with him to her parents home in Morrilton, Arkansas. She and husband Johnny next lived in Benton, Arkansas.
In 1929 Johnny Green was killed in a logging accident. Linwood was pregnant and again returned to her parent’s home with Marvin. During the course of the pregnancy both of her parents died. Our mother was left pregnant, alone, and soon homeless. In December Marvin’s sister, Johnny Catherine Green was born.My mother never spoke of the circumstances leading to her marriage to my father, Ed Harrington. He had been widowed twice and was 20 years older. In retrospect, I can only describe the often strained relationship as one brought about by mutual need. He had five children and a stepson but only the two younger teenaged boys still lived with him. When I was born in 1933 there were five children in the home, and the depression was at its deepest, in one of the poorest areas in the country. During that year the family moved south about 100 miles to Belfast, Arkansas and a 10 acre farm in a tiny village around a railroad siding. Dad and the boys grew our food, share-cropped and cut pulpwood.
We lived in extremely poor circumstances – but everyone around us was poor. Both parents worked constantly and as soon as we children were old enough, we worked too. My first visual memory of Marvin is of him milking. Another picture in my mind is of him, probably not more than ten or eleven, plowing behind old Bell, barefoot and in blue overalls. Another memory is of him charging into the house, yelling that the crows were in the cornfield and he needed to take the shotgun to scare them off. Our mother being who she was, the gun stayed on the wall. We did have 4H club in our area and he was very proud of personally owning a registered Poland China sow. He had helped the only prosperous farmer around load some hogs and was given the runt of a litter for his work. He hand raised Salamoaney and she did well at the fair. She was probably the gentlest pig who ever lived.
However much work had to be done, school had to come first. Mothers’s father was a college educated Baptist minister descending from a long line of Baptist ministers and college professors. She expected good grades and good behavior and we dreaded bringing home a B on our report cards. Marvin did well at school. As soon as he was old enough he was anxious to find ways to earn money. I can remember him cutting what we called stove wood, wood cut small enough for kitchen cooking stoves, for two dollars a cord. He drove a school bus for one of his high school years – salary was $20.00 a month. His bus driving ended when we moved to the small town of Sheridan in 1944 and were then on the wrong end of the bus route. He soon found an after school and Saturday job in a hardware store. As he was in high school during WWII with many men gone to war, lucrative summer jobs were available for the older boys. He spent one summer in Kansas laying railroad track and came home thin and brown. The next summer he spent as a messenger on the military base at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Hours bouncing on a motorcycle seat on rough roads resulted in a cracked tailbone and surgery. Our Sims cousins, who were undertakers, brought him home from the hospital using their hearse in lieu of an ambulance. This brought half the neighborhood tearing over to see if he had died.
Marvin Green graduated from Sheridan High School. He promptly headed for California where several of his father’s relatives lived. As I remember, he first worked with his Aunt Anna and her family in the Lancaster-Pearblossom area. He then relocated to the Tulare area with his cousin Charlie Green. He found work in a department store there and met a beautiful dark haired girl who became his wife. Her large family took him as their own and with them he found the family closeness he had never experienced. Together he and Adalena raised three lovely daughters and he was able to provide for them in a way that he had not been provided for. They both took great pride in their homes which were constantly being improved and were beautifully kept by Adalena. Having a good car was important to him and this was another reward for his hard work.
I don’t think it ever occurred to Marvin to not be a good person .He wanted to do well in the world, to raise his family better than he had been raised, and to be a faithful servant of God. In my eyes he was as much of a success as the Bill Gates of this world. I am proud to have been his sister!”
Marvin’s Photo Slideshow
Here are a few photos from the event.
Judy and her sister, Katherine, with Adalena, Marvin’s wife and Judy and Katherine’s mother.
We also had a photo area for people to look through and reminisce.