Woodford McKee (Mac) Green, Jr., passed away on Friday, July 9, at his home in Salem due to complications from a long, happy and adventurous life. He was 95 years old and had been in declining health for several months.
He leaves behind his wife of 31 years, Anne Marie Green, his children, Michael Green of Eugene, Oregon, Mark Green of Eugene, Oregon, Michele Green and her husband Robert Walker of Salem, Emily Green of Roanoke and Adrian Green and his fiancée Kelsey Johnson of Salem, and two grandchildren, Michael Green, Jr. of Buffalo, New York and Angus Green of Eugene, Oregon. He was born in Connersville, Indiana, on October 31, 1925, to Woodford McKee Green and Ruth Maria Cloud Green. He had a younger sister, Beverly Ann, and a younger brother, John Carroll, both of whom predeceased him. The family came to Roanoke when his father obtained employment as a structural steel engineer.
Due to the effects of the Great Depression, the family lived at many addresses in the Roanoke Valley, Blacksburg, and Newport News before settling on Market Street in Salem in 1938. Mac graduated from Andrew Lewis High School in 1942 at the age of 16. He attended Roanoke College and V12 Officer Candidate School at Hampden Sydney before deliberately flunking out so he could go off to war as a Quartermaster 3rd Class in the United States Navy. He was stationed in the Pacific on three different troop carriers, including two LSTs, and was honorably discharged in 1946.
Upon returning to Salem, he entered the retail business, working at Brown Hardware and Norris’s Men’s Store. He joined the newly opened H.R. Johnson Hardware, and worked there for 53 years, becoming an owner and partner in 1960 and retiring in 1999. He was also active in the community, acting as civil defense coordinator for the Town of Salem in the 1950s, as a charter member of the Salem Jaycees, a member of the Salem Lions Club, and serving 65 years in American Legion Salem Post 19, including 63 years as an officer. He donated 128 pints (16 gallons) of his rare AB- blood, seeking out every bloodmobile location in Salem. Mac participated in the Centennial Celebrations for both Roanoke County (1938) and the Town of Salem (1952).
He influenced many children in Salem, serving as an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troops 54 and 51, and teaching Sunday School at First United Methodist Church. He was named Father of the Year for Family Life by the Credit Marketing and Management Association of Southwest Virginia in 1992. He served 20 years, from 1974-1994, as Vice Mayor of the City of Salem, running unopposed in two of the five elections. He chaired the Council Audit Committee and served on the Virginia Municipal League’s Transportation Committee. It was through his position on Council that, in 1986, he met his wife, Anne Marie.
They married in 1990, and together they started a family and renovation of “the pink house.” They traveled to the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Canada, Peru and throughout the United States. Mac will be greatly missed, but he is in a far better place.
He was most proud of his service during World War II, his children, whom he loved dearly, and his time on the Salem City Council. A graveside service will take place at Sherwood Cemetery on Friday, August 20, at 11:00 am, followed by a reception. Mac requested that there be no flowers and that this be a simple occasion, celebrating the joy that he saw in everyday life. Online condolences can be made by visiting the funeral home’s website, www.johnmoakey.com.