MISSOULA — Captain William Harrell Greene Jr., U.S. N. Retired, died suddenly of metastic cancer, Tueday, May 28, at his Missoula home, surrounded by loving family members. He was 76.
He was born April 25, 1936, in Fort Smith, Ark.
Because his father was in the Navy, he attended numerous primary and secondary schools, graduating from Havre High School in 1953.
He attended Northern Montana College, now Montana State University-Northern, in 1953.
In 1956 he reported to Pensacola, Fla., for the Naval Aviation Flight Program. He received his Navy Wings of Gold in 1957.
He received his bachelor's degree from University of Rhode Island, Kingston, R.I., his master's in political science from George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and a master's degree in computer science from U. S. Air Force Air University, Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Ala.
His first duty station as an ensign was V. U. 1 at Ewa Beach, Hawaii, where he learned to fly all types of aircraft from props, fighters, attack and the first Navy jets. His next duty station was Pacific Missile Test Range, Point Mugu, Calif. In 1964, he reported to Attack Squadron 212 in Lemoore, Calif. The squadron was stationed aboard the aircraft carriers the U. S.S Bonhomme Richard and the U. S.S. Hancock, which made three Vietnam cruises. Upon returning to Lemoore he received orders to the Defense Communication Planning Group in Washington, D.C. In the summer of 1970, he received orders to go to the Naval War College, Newport, R.I., as a student. The following year he received orders to the Naval War College as an instructor. In 1971, he was chosen for command of VA-75 in Oceana, Va. A chronicled account written by Carol Reardon, “Launch the Intruders” provides a detailed biography of his squadron’s participation during that Vietnam cruise aboard the U. S.S Saratoga. After VA-75, he took command of VA-42, Oceana, Va. In 1977, he reported the U. S. Air Force Air University, Montgomery, Ala. In 1978, he was assigned to the Rickover Naval Nuclear School, Idaho Falls, Idaho. He took command of the U. S.S Charleston from 1978 through 1980, Norfolk, VA. In June of 1980 he took command of the U. S.S. Lexington, Pensacola, Fla. His final tour was in 1982, where he commanded the Naval Weapons Center Air Station, China Lake, Calif. Upon retirement in 1983, he returned to Montana. In 1985 he accepted a position with Northrup Grumman, Lawton, Okla. Then, in 1989, he accepted a position with Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier (EG&G), a national defense contractor and provider of management and technical services, located in Arlington, Va. He was appointed director of the EG&G Dynatrend division and later promoted to to first vice president. He retired from EG&G in 1999 and returned to Missoula.
He enjoyed a myriad of hobbies, including stained glass, sculpting, water colors, genealogy, woodworking, computer science, literature, photography, model building, crossword puzzles and many others too numerous to mention. He was a diehard women’s Grizzlies basketball fan.
He was a member of Model Airplane Club of America, Montana Military Officers Association, Masonic Masons, the Red River Rats, Navy and Marine Corps Volunteer, Navy League, and he was a volunteer for the Rocky Mountain Elk Fountain.
He was a well-respected member of the community. In every historical aspect he was a true officer and gentleman.
He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Lilliane (Howard) Greene, his daughters, Dawn Greene-Bare of Woodbridge, Va., and Kalaine Greene of Missoula; a son, William Greene III (Julie) Lahaina, Hawaii; his grandchildren, Rachael Shoemaker, Winter Springs, Fla. ; his mother, Emma Greene of Lompoc, Calif. ; his sister, Rayna Pinkerton, Lompoc, Calif. ; his brother and sister-in-law, Sterling and Lavonne Haaland, Swan Lake, Mont. ; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be held Monday, June 4, 2012, at 1 p. m. at the First Presbyterian Church, at 235 S. 5th St. West. Prior to the service, there will be opportunity for friends to pay respects while the casket is open at church from noon until 1 p. m. Following services, a reception will be held in the Fellowship Hall. Burial with full military honors will be at a later time at Arlington National Cemetery. Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home. Attendants at his service were Col. Tom Ross, U.S. Army, retired, Lt. Charles Crookshank, U.S. Navy, Lt. David Mihalic, U.S. Army.
Memorial funds established include: Partners In Home Care, 2687 Palmer, Suite B, Missoula, MT 59808; American Cancer Society, 3550 Mullen Road, Suite 103, Missoula, MT 59088; Wounded Warrior’s Project, 2223 Alaskan Way, #220, Seattle, WA 98121.