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Edward Greene

Posted By Jessica Twiford On December 6, 2021 @ 8:52 am In Obituaries,Outer Banks | 15 Comments

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Edward Greene, “Eddie” to thousands, made his last exit in Manteo, North Carolina, on November 29, 2021, at 96.  He passed peacefully and was surrounded by people who loved him, Helen Luciano, Gale Friedel, and Richard Lacerre.

He was always going to exit surrounded by love.

Eddie was born in New Rochelle, New York, May 18, 1925. His parents, George and Ruth Greene, along with his grandmother, raised him and his brothers, Wick and Teddy, in a home over his parents’ business, The Greene Gallery.   He was surrounded by love from the get-go.

Edward grew up during the Great Depression, and after graduating from New Rochelle High School, entered into the Navy in World War II, training as a medical corpsman on a landing craft for the invasion of Japan.  While he was at sea, the war ended.  He went west, ending up at UC Berkeley, intending to become a doctor.  But then he went to see the San Francisco Ballet.  It was transformative.  “I decided I didn’t want to be a doctor, I wanted to be a dancer.”  He joined the San Francisco School of Ballet within weeks.

He started training the week he turned 21. The odds were stacked against him due to his age, and also his elfin stature; it was unlikely he could have a career as a dancer.  But of course, he did.

He drove across America to New York City where, in 1953, he was spotted by a choreographer named John Lehman, who invited him to come down to Manteo, North Carolina to dance in Paul Green’s The Lost Colony.

You would expect culture shock, both on his part and on the town of Manteo’s.  But it was mutual love at first sight.

In 1955, he decided to stay in New York, and very quickly, he was busy dancing professionally. For a year and a half he did the Broadway Tour of Damn Yankees as dancer, stage manager, and dance captain. For nearly twenty years he was a successful dancer.

But once you fall in love with the Outer Banks, you’re stuck.  Between gigs, he’d visit as often as possible.

During the hiatuses between shows, he decorated showrooms for Christmas merchandise distributors, where buyers came to see and buy their holiday stock.  He had a vision; he would bring sparkle to Manteo with a Christmas Shop and Art Gallery.

For his first business loan,  he went to Ray White, a newly minted loan officer.  He went without any paperwork.  Ray believed in him, and convinced a sharp-eyed loan committee to believe, too. A half century friendship was born, and Eddie never looked back.

Edward met Richard Lacerre, artist, designer, and antique collector in New Jersey, who came down to Manteo with him; he became his business partner and five decade companion.  Over the years, they made the Christmas Shop itself a work of art, eventually becoming a rambling showplace of fine antiques, enticing displays, entrancing sounds and smells, and – yes – sparkle.

Somehow, he found time to be President of the Chamber of Commerce; to be Manteo town commissioner during the massive revitalization project of downtown Manteo, to be on the board of The Lost Colony, to be vice-president of Save Jockey’s Ridge.

Manteo needed a bookstore, he started it, along with multiple other businesses, including The Weeping Radish, in the process getting a law passed allowing micro-breweries in North Carolina. (You’re welcome.)

He established the New World Arts Festival, and with his friends David Stick, Andy Griffith, George Crocker and Ray White, he co-founded the Outer Banks Community Foundation, which has helped thousands of people in Dare County.

That is not half of his civic leadership. Governor Jim Hunt awarded him the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest honor.

He is survived by his nephew Ron Greene (Mary), his nieces Debbie Greene, Lynn Swanson (Carl), and Lynn Greene Fortin, his grandnieces Andrea, Karen, Sharon, Nicole, Tracy, Taylor and Brooke, by grandnephews James, Matthew and Christopher, by his countless friends, hundreds of employees, three generations of customers, and thousands whose lives he touched in a positive way.

Every year, during the first cast and crew meeting of The Lost Colony, Eddie would take time to speak to the company, and tell them that they would remember that summer for the rest of their lives.  He was right.  Eddie had remembered his first summer here, and the love, energy and vision it inspired made Dare County a better place. Manteo and Dare County loved him back, which is why he was always going to exit, downstage center, surrounded by love.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date, which will be announced.  In lieu of flowers, do something good for your community.

Twiford Funeral Homes, Outer Banks is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.TwifordFH.com.

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Twiford Funeral Home (Outer Banks)

Colony Chapel
500 Budleigh Street, PO Box 595,
Manteo, NC 27954
Phone: (252) 473-2449
Fax: (252) 473-3392
Email: David.Twiford.Jr@TwifordFH.com

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Condolences for the family of “Edward Greene”

Condolence from Faye Lewark Daniels on December 6th, 2021 2:31 pm

My thoughts are with you and your family at this time; may your memories bring you comfort.

“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.” ~~ Eskimo Proverb

Condolence from Buffy Forbes Pitchford on December 6th, 2021 3:09 pm

What a wonderful tribute. I didn’t know him, but I’m sure I saw him. I loved all of the mentioned businesses , and the stories of him accomplishments. Farewell to the., and may you Rest In Peace.

Condolence from D. Dahlborg on December 6th, 2021 3:38 pm

Eddie was always smiling and bringing joy to others. He was the nicest and most gracious gentleman you would ever meet.

Condolence from Lisa Berry Bryant on December 6th, 2021 6:32 pm

My condolences and prays to the family of Mr. Green You have truly lost a gem .

Condolence from Cookie on December 6th, 2021 8:28 pm

Dearest Richard, Thank you for taking such good care of him and keeping him around Dare County for 96 rich years. My heart hurts for you and just know you are loved as much as he is. Once a character, now a legend!

Condolence from Melissa Williams on December 6th, 2021 10:49 pm

Eddie my life is better having known you. You always had a smile and a story to boot. I’m so glad I got to talk with you not long ago and reminisce my crazy childhood. I loved running around the Christmas shop with my never ending jaw breaker. You always treated my family with such respect. I will treasure all the memories. Until we meet again dear friend.

Condolence from Cynthia Hampton on December 6th, 2021 10:49 pm

Such a great loss for our Manteo and Outer Banks community. There are no words for all his contributions we all were the benefit of. All came from his heart . And I am thankful for all his gifts to us. Blessings .

Condolence from Jeffrey on December 7th, 2021 9:55 pm

An amazing man. Rest In Peace Eddie. My sympathy and prayers are with all who knew him.

Condolence from Holly Meekins Williams on December 7th, 2021 10:33 pm

Eddie Greene exuded kindness and positivity, and it was a real privilege to know him. We will carry his memory and his spirit in our hearts. My sincerest sympathies to all.

Condolence from Sue Williamson on December 8th, 2021 12:44 pm

I worked at the Christmas shop for eight months …Mr.Greene was a wonderful man enjoyed working there with him and Richard…..thanks for the memories…Prayers for all the family..

Condolence from Laura on December 8th, 2021 8:14 pm

Eddie’s warmth and hospitality will not be forgotten. His artistic talents were admirable. I have been away from OBX for 30 years but am warmed by fond memories .

Condolence from Susan Gagnon & Paula James on December 11th, 2021 5:17 am

What a life this man had…I know he’s making Christmas wherever he is or at least making something happen……a few years back my friend from Florida was home and we stopped in The Christmas Shop ,which we had not been in in years, and Mr. Green gave us the tour ..even in rooms you didn’t get to go in. I could have talked to him for hours…so interesting…If you haven’t seen this documentary ..The Wonderful Life Of Eddie Green on YouTube …you should, to see the life , and the good he did for so many ,and the community…..We thank you Mr. Green for the tour

Condolence from Sandra Allen on December 11th, 2021 1:23 pm

Mr. Greene was a kind human and an inspiration to so many of us. He leaves this world a better place because of all that he did, and the good that he inspired others to do as well. He will be always remembered.
Peace and love to all who loved him, and Merry Christmas.

Condolence from Sunny and Dee Briggs on December 15th, 2021 4:37 pm

Mr. Eddie will be greatly missed here in Dare County. Whenever we saw him he always ask how are you doing. He did a lot for Dare County. His Christmas Shop added so much to Manteo. People who came to vacation here loved to go to the famous Christmas Shop in Manteo. I still have a Musical Santa Clause I purchased at the Christmas Shop in 1972. It still works and we put it out every year! Rest in peace Mr. Eddie!

Condolence from Donna Rich on December 23rd, 2021 11:25 am

He was such a ray of sunshine, a true visionary and I feel blessed to have known him. He will always be lovingly remembered.

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