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Agnes "Ronnie" Green

16 July, 192323 October, 2020
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Agnes “Ronnie” (Finlaw) Green July 16, 1923 – October 23, 2020 Ronnie Green, 97, formerly of Traverse City, Michigan, passed away peacefully Friday, October 23, at Sunset Manor (Jenison, Michigan) with her family by her side. Ronnie was born on July 16, 1923, in Brooklyn, New York, to the late William Finlaw and Violet Dewhurst Finlaw. She attended James Madison High School in Brooklyn. In February 1943, she moved to Holland, Michigan, to attend Hope College. As she said, “There was the war, and all colleges were desperate for warm bodies.” She started as a Business Major but heard about a “Snap Course” called Beginning Social Work. After graduation, she took advantage of an opportunity to receive a paid scholarship to the University of Michigan, School of Social Work, for a one-year’s credit toward a Masters Degree in Social Work. (She later completed her Masters Degree through study at Michigan State University in 1963). She was required to repay the scholarship by accepting a placement anywhere in Michigan for a two-year commitment. She was ecstatic that she was placed in Traverse City. She met the love of her life, Paul Green, while in Holland, and after she moved, their long-distance relationship endured. They were married on July 26, 1952 and celebrated 53 years of marriage until Paul’s death in 2005. During their lives together, Ronnie and Paul were blessed with three children. Ronnie had a great love of music, mostly classical, but above all, opera! As she would say, “if I could exercise to Offenbach or Mozart all the time, I think I could be very svelte and graceful.” She enjoyed many simulcast opera performances at the State Theater and hosted opera-watching parties with fellow enthusiasts. She never thought that she had much of a singing voice but found herself in multiple lead rolls in community performances through the Old Town Playhouse, at the time, the Traverse City Civic Players. She was Vera Charles in Mame, Yenta in Fiddler on the Roof, and an “aging stripper” in Gypsy, to name a few. As a lifelong early riser, her regular swims and walks at the community center and workouts at the gym, built many special relationships. Ronnie made a career of attentive listening. She took grammar very seriously; the incorrect use of “I” and “me” was like fingernails down the chalkboard and was quickly corrected, no matter the source. She enjoyed movie watching, cocktail parties, crossword puzzles, weekend bicycle trips with friends, and playing a good round of bridge. She also loved travel, especially to visit loved ones. She retired in 1989, after more than 40 years with the Department of Social Services, and in 2012 she moved to Jenison’s Sunset Community to be closer to her two younger sisters. The family is grateful for the loving care provided by the staff of Sunset Manor and Emmanuel Hospice. Ronnie is survived by her children Barbara Blum of Traverse City, Nancy (James) Farese of Suttons Bay, William (Michelle) Green of Grandville; her grandchildren, Courtney (Blum) VanBoxtel; Erika (Blum) Olson; Kate, Michael, and Ryan Farese; Owen, Leah, and Anna Green; her sister, Anne (John) Holmlund; and many nieces and nephews who mourn the loss of their very special “Aunt Ronnie.” Ronnie was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Paul Green; brother William Finlaw; sister Rosemary Commeret Penn; and son-in-law Glenn Blum. She will be remembered for her sage advice, generosity, optimism, lasting friendships, independence, and appreciation for “contrast.” The family will gather on Friday, October 30th beginning at 10:00 am at Faith Reformed Church, 1139 E. Front St., Traverse City until time of memorial service at 11:00.

To join services live, please follow this link - http://frctc.org/livestream

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Emmanuel Hospice, 401 Hall St. SW, Grand Rapids, MI. 49503 or Sunset Manor, 725 Baldwin St. Jenison, MI. 49428.

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    Friday, 30 October , 2020

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Agnes "Ronnie" Green

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Bruce Fisher

November 1, 2020

Words cannot do justice regarding my feelings for Agnes Green, but I will try.
Ronnie interviewed me in the Fall of 1978 and I began working under her supervision in
Jan. 1979. In a very short time she became not only the best boss I have ever had, but a mentor in my professional life and role model in my everyday life. She provided me guidance and support during some of the toughest days of my life and I am forever grateful that I was fortunate enough to know her and call her my friend.
Intelligent, honest and straightforward with a wonderful sense of humor - she truly enriched my life. I can’t do justice here to the stories that could be told, but one she loved telling regards our touring her retirement community and introducing me to all her friends as her “boyfriend” with a huge smile on her face. A special memory with a special person.
If you were lucky enough to know Ronnie you know what I mean. And Ronnie- if you’re examining this, I apologize for any and all grammatical errors!!!

Deanna Thompson

October 30, 2020

Dear Family of Ronnie,
She was the greatest!! I work at Sunset, I will miss our visits and you calling me bugging me to bring you some oreos....lol. Your spunkyness, outspoken-ness and your sense of humor and your smile just to name a few.
Thank you for your friendship, You will be missed more than you know!
Rest In Heaven!
Deanna Thompson

Greg Marsden

October 30, 2020

Thanks for all the great memories Ronnie, from visits at your home in Traverse City as a child to Thanksgivings the last few years at my house you were always full of life and joy! As John remarked, even at 97 your passing was so unexpected. I'm also very grateful you and my mother got to spend so much time together after Rosemary passed. I know that brought her a lot of joy as well. Rest in Peace.

Love, Greg.

Brynne Marsden Roberts

October 30, 2020

We join you in your celebration of Great Aunt Ronnie (with the emphasize on the "Great" as she often requested!) So many of my favorite memories of my grandmother Rosemary also included beloved, sharp, hilarious Ronnie. She was a treasure and we all loved her so much.

All of our love,
Brynne and Corey Roberts
Grand Rapids, MI

Frank Greenlaw

October 28, 2020

To the Green family
My sincere condolences to the loss of your mother. I mostly remember her when she rented a room on 5th St here in TC from my parents and all the great conversations she had with us and our parents. When I left home and married in 1961 I more or less lost contact and what few times I did see her wow did we share lots of memories. A truly amazing life she lived and to the fullest at that according to what I’ve read in the obit. Rest assured she is now restored to a much better place now where we all shall meet again someday.

Craig Riffenburg

October 28, 2020

Ronnie was very kind to my family! She would always make time to listen. She also would give you great unedited advice in a polite way, which was always welcome. She lived a very long life full of love and support. Excellent work ethics! I often think of her and the times we would visit and swim at their home. She definitely has left permanent positive memories. I often reflect on our conversations we had together. She gave me great advice when I asked and wasn’t shy when giving it. Lol. She will always be in my thoughts and I hope to live as long as she had not to mention be a better person on a daily basis. Love you Ronnie! ❤️ Until we meet again.

Michael Spry

October 28, 2020

Ronnie was like my Traverse City mom after I began my social work career. I will long remember her as a great friend and confidant. She was a force of nature and will be missed by so many people, especially when they recall her laugh.

Valerie Greenlaw Wolff

October 27, 2020

To the Green Family -
Ronnie was my “other” mother, whose precious presence in my life guided me through many joys and obstacles along the way. She knew when to admonish, when to encourage, when to give advice, and when to tell me to get over myself. I thank each of you for sharing your mom with me. May she Rest In Peace. Love, Val

Joyce Conner

October 26, 2020

Ronnie has blessed my life in more was then I could imagine. She was a bright light that warmed any room she was in. Ronnie was a very educated, social butterfly and worldly woman that loved her family beyond measure. She will be sorely missed and always deeply loved. It is an honor to be able to call her a friend and I loved every minute I spent with her. May heavenly peace shine upon you.

Paul Greenlaw

October 26, 2020

To Barbara, Nancy, and Bill

You are indeed to have been blessed with a most awesome lady for a mother! She was a brilliant, kind, loving, humorous, successful person the likes of whom I have rarely, if ever, had the pleasure of knowing in my nearly 70 years of living. I shall miss our weekly phone conversations, our brunch “dates” and our email exchanges.
She lived a full life and it was her time to move on to the next life and to be reunited with those who have gone before her.
Thank you forever for sharing her with me and others in the Greenlaw Family.
May you Rest In Peace, my dear friend Ronnie!❤️
Love,
Paul Greenlaw
Former TC resident
Walker, Michigan

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