In Memoriam: Nancy Green


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death October 29, 1997 of retiree Nancy (Heydt) Green. Nancy died of a heart attack at home in Falmouth, MA, at age 71.

Nancy was born August 10, 1926 in Montclair, NJ, and graduated from the Kimberly School in 1944. She attended Sarah Lawrence College, majoring in English, for two years and received a junior college degree from that school in 1946. She later attended the Drake Business School, where she earned a secretarial certificate in 1948. She married David L. Green and moved to Los Angeles, where her two daughters were born. Nancy lived and worked in Los Angeles for many years, first as a copywriter and editor for Jaffee Publications. From 1958 to 1962 she coordinated traffic/production of album covers and liners at Dot Records, Inc. When the firm moved some operations to New York, Nancy took a position as secretary to the Vice President and General Manager of Clinton E. Frank, Inc., a Los Angeles advertising agency. The small firm soon merged with a Chicago agency, enabling Nancy to gain knowledge and experience in many aspects of advertising. In 1965 she became secretary to the Director of Business Affairs for Community Television of Southern California. A year later she moved to the advertising and public relations firm of Eiseman, Johns & Laws, where she worked as a secretary from 1966 to 1970.

After many years in California, Nancy decided to return to the East Coast. Her family had a summer home in Hyannisport for many years, and she moved with her daughters to Falmouth in 1970. She joined the Institution staff in May 1972, working at Crowell House as a temporary secretary for Associate Director Bostwick “Buck” Ketchum, who was organizing a major coastal zone workshop. Nancy was appointed secretary in the Chemistry Department, chaired by John Hunt, in September of that year to work on GEOSECS (Geochemical Ocean Sections Study), which was just beginning. In May 1973 she transferred to the Public Information Office, then headed by Mike Schofield, in the Co-op Building. She was promoted to Staff Assistant in 1977, working with Vicky Cullen and later Shelley Lauzon in that office until her retirement from the Institution in August 1991.

Nancy was well known to many at WHOI and in the community. She produced the Weekly Calendar of Events, organized Peanut Butter Club films and presentations, answered letters from students, teachers, and the general public, responded to general telephone and walk-in inquiries, and arranged for tours and visits to WHOI, conducting many tours herself. She hosted many groups through the years, including the Massachusetts Marine Educators, which honored her in 1991 with a special service award. Nancy also participated in many now historic projects at WHOI, including the discovery of hydrothermal vents in 1977 and the discovery of the wreck of the Titanic in 1985, and she helped the Public Information Office significantly expand its activities as public interest in the Institution’s activities grew in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Nancy Green had a relaxed and casual manner, a natural friendliness and ability to get along well with everyone she met. She loved reading, boating, and was an avid gardener. Following her retirement she traveled extensively, often to Central and South America. She remained active and was devoted to family and friends. She volunteered at Falmouth Service Center, was a member of the board of the Visiting Nursing Association of Upper Cape Cod, and as a member of the Woods Hole Historical Collection for many years helped publicize the Collection’s “Conversations” series.

Surviving are two daughters, Corey Ellen (Green) McLaughlin of Salem, MA; Catherine Burchenal “Burchie” Green of Shelburne Falls, MA; a sister, Marjie Bonner, of San Rafael, CA; a brother, Ned Heydt, of West Caldwell, NJ; a granddaughter, Madeline Grace McLaughlin of Salem, MA; several nieces and nephews; and a devoted friend, Robert Norris, of Caldwell, NJ. Her former husband, David L. Green, died in 1991.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 22, 1997 at 1:00 p.m. at the Church of the Messiah, 22 Church Street, Woods Hole. A reception will follow at Fisher House.

Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Cape Cod, 923 Route 6A, Yarmouthport, MA, 02675 or to the Visiting Nursing Association of Upper Cape Cod, 67 Ter Heun Drive, Falmouth, MA 02540.


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