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Thomas Casey Greene, Jr., of Potowomut, passed away peacefully at HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence on Dec. 29, having just celebrated his 91st birthday with family at his lifelong and ancestral home, Forge Farm. Born in Boston to Thomas Casey Greene, Sr., and Anna Gildersleeve (Buckley) Greene on Dec. 15, 1930, Mr. Greene graduated from Exeter Academy, Yale College (BA 1952), and Yale University School of Music (B. Music 1954, M. Music of the Piano 1955).
A gifted pianist since early childhood, Mr. Greene’s life’s work as a music educator spanned more than six decades. His music enriched countless faith and lay celebrations of life and gatherings of many other kinds. Mr. Greene was also a passionate advocate and practitioner of self-directed life-long learning. Mr. Greene took great joy in the exchange of ideas across cultural and national boundaries, and loved exploring and promoting the connections and multi-faceted past that is humanity’s legacy.
Throughout his life, Mr. Greene championed the many generations of Greenes who came before him at Forge Farm in a way that was both educational and inspirational. His long historical knowledge was valued by historians and highly sought by anyone researching or writing about his 4th great uncle, Major General Nathanael Greene, as well as an array of other 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th century Greene and Casey family members.
Mr. Greene was a gracious host to all who visited his beloved Forge Farm, but particularly loved to engage with children and youth, challenging them gently through humor and kindness, stories and poetry, and tenderly proffered puns, to engage with both their environmental and historical surroundings. In his later years, Mr. Greene also welcomed hundreds of foreign delegates from around the world to Forge Farm, visiting the United States under the auspices of the U.S. State Department International Visitor Leadership Program and Middle East Partnership Initiative and the Congressional Open World Leadership Center. International visitors were greeted with carefully researched interesting questions about their homeland, and treated to a kaleidoscope of American history, poetry, house and garden tours, philosophical conversations ranging from Buddhist precepts to string theory, or, most especially, the exchange of much-loved musical discourse between piano, visitor’s instruments or voice.
Mr. Greene was a member of the faith communities of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and Westminster Unitarian Church in East Greenwich. He was a member of the Dunes Club of Narragansett for over 80 years, as well as the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society, the Rhode Island Audubon Society (for many years a member of the board), Sons of the American Revolution, the Kentish Guard, and was “a third generation honorary member” of the Rhode Island Order of the Cincinnati. He also treasured his honorary membership of the Major General Nathanael Greene Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Tom is survived by a constellation of cousins, including Katherine Anne Greene and Robert Edward Migneault and their daughters Hailee Migneault Greene and Casey Migneault Greene.
A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 99 Pierce St., East Greenwich, on Saturday, Jan. 8.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions honoring Tom’s lifelong commitment to classical music education, engagement, and dialogue, to From the Top media and education programs that celebrate, support, and broadcast young classically-trained musicians across National Public Radio and internet media networks. From the Top, PO Box 845429, Boston, MA 02284-5429, (617) 437-0707, www.fromthetop.org.
You can leave an online condolence at the Hill Funeral Home website HERE.