Obituary for GREEN

Published in the Albuquerque Journal on Sunday October 21, 2007

John Root, 87, passed away unexpectedly at his Corrales home on October 18, 2007. John was born on September 19, 1920 in Alameda, California to Helen Root and John D. Green. He spent his youth in the Haight Asbury section of San Francisco. John graduated from the University of California Berkley with a BS in Physics. At the onset of World War II he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was sent to the University of Chicago for a course in Meteorology. He served in China as a weather forecaster where he gave pilots their weather forecasts by the very scientific method of looking at the mountains through his binoculars. He left China with a tremendous respect for the industrious Chinese people and also a wonderful ability to order at Chinese restaurants. After the War John completed his education at Berkley acquiring a MS and a Phd in Physics. In 1950 he received two offers for teaching positions, at Reed College in Portland, Oregon and at UNM. He first visited rainy Portland and then UNM. He fell in love with New Mexico's clear blue skies and open spaces. For the rest of his life cloudy days depressed him. He married Anna Vallevik Gibson, a Chemistry instructor at UNM, on September 11, 1951. Their 50th anniversary fell on the fateful day of the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. John and Anna settled in Corrales in 1952 where together they spent years building a comfortable adobe home. When the roof developed too may leaks John added a second story in 1972. Anna was a North Dakota farmer's daughter so they had a barnyard full of animals. He also raised alfalfa hay and taught his children to appreciate hard work. John loved trees and surrounded their home with a pine forest lovingly tended with seedlings from the Forest Service. He grew grapes and made wine long before it was fashionable. John and Anna loved to travel and he accepted Fulbright Scholarships to teach Physics in Oslo, Norway in 1958, Aleppo, Syria in 1966 and Amman, Jordan in 1973.Everywhere they lived they loved to entertain and played Bridge whenever they could get a foursome. John was known for his tenacity in fighting injustice wherever he encountered it. He was often at odds with the administration at UNM especially while head of the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure. John's biggest passion was music and he took Flute lessons and then taught himself to play the accordion and piano. He played all with gusto! After his early retirement in 1980 he composed music and recorded it on his computer/synthesizer. He and Anna sang in the UNM Chorus, Opera Southwest, and All Saints Lutheran Church Choir. They acted in plays with The Adobe Theater in Corrales and danced with the Scandinavian Dancers. John is survived by his wife of 56 years, Anna; his son, John Vallevik Green and wife, Guro Vikor of Nessodtangen, Norway; and their sons, John Vikor Green and Nicholas Vikor Green; daughter, Mary and husband, David DeMar of Corrales; and their daughters, Lisa and Kristi, daughter, Jane of Placitas and her son, James. John also leaves behind his beloved cats, Scooter and Ginger and his new puppy, Binky. Cremation has already taken place by the compassionate staff at Direct Services 2919 4th NW Albuquerque. The Green family thanks them for their kindness and assistance. The family also wishes to thank Nikki and Leigh of Amber Care Hospice (Anna's caretakers) and Alicia Trejo and her daughter Monique for all their loving support at our time of grief. In lieu of flowers please remember the less fortunate among us and all of God's creatures great and small by contributing to your favorite charities. A memorial service celebrating the life of John will be held on Thursday October 25, 2007 at 10:30 a.m. at All Saints Lutheran Church, 4800 All Saints Rd NW. A lunch reception will follow.

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