Date of Death: January 4, 2024

Service Details

Visitation will be held Friday, January 12, 2024 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Three Rivers/Centreville, 320 N. Main St., Three Rivers. A funeral service will follow at 1:00 p.m. at the church with Rev. Brenda Deily officiating. Interment will be held at Ft. Custer National Cemetery at a later date. A livestream of the funeral will be available on First Presbyterian Church’s YouTube channel.

Obituary Notice

Leslie Edwin “Les” Greene, 91, of Three Rivers, passed away Thursday, January 4, 2024 at his home. He was born to Edwin and Cleo (Martin) Greene of Kalamazoo. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Helen Greene and brother William Greene.

Les was a graduate of Kalamazoo College and WMU after active duty in the Navy. He met his wife, Helen, at Kalamazoo Central High School, and proposed marriage over the phone while stationed in Guam – a short call due to the high international rate! He mailed her an engagement ring, and the couple wed in July 1955. Together, they enjoyed traveling to Crystal Lake, and being active at First Presbyterian Church of Three Rivers/Centreville. They raised two children and were blessed with two grandchildren – the light of their lives.

Les was a lifelong private pilot. He was a tinkerer who loved designing, building, and fixing just about anything. He also loved cars, reading, music (especially big band and classical), singing, sweets, and farming. Les will be remembered as a really good friend, always willing to help others. Les was a retired Navy Commander and for three decades taught biology and aviation at Loy Norrix High School.

Remaining to cherish his memory are his son, Brian (Ellen) Greene; daughter, Melanie (Steve) Olson; and granddaughters, Ashton and Lauren Greene.

Additional Information

Donations in Les’ memory may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association. Envelopes are available at the church and at Hohner Funeral Home.

Please Leave Your Condolences

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  1. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. I was a colleague of Les and had the privilege of following in his footsteps in K 10 at Loy Norrix. I treasured his wisdom and advice. I know he loved his students and the opportunity to share his passion of biology and aeronautics!
    God speed my friend.
    Brad Addis

  2. My deep sympathy to Mel and Brian. Your dad lived a life filled with abiding interest in people, animals, plants, and engines. He literally soared and sailed above all of it, too! I know he is laughing with Helen and my folks (Pat and Dottie Hudson) right now.

  3. I was Mr Greene’s biology lab assistant in 1962-63. Many of his phrases we incorporated into our family. “Ajax rub and scrub club” and holding on to another’s ear. “Where there is warmth there is life and where there is life there is hope”. He was a good teacher, mentor and boss.

  4. Les Greene was my biology teacher at Loy Norrix High School in 1964–65. I hold him to be one of the three most important mentors in my life, and my longest living friend. Only about three weeks ago, I sent him a Christmas card not knowing if he was still alive or it would come back to me noting the recipient was deceased. He replied with a shaky, one-line note saying he was proud to have been my teacher. Les was one of those who made me realize there was a way to go to college and get a zoology degree as I dreamed of, in spite of my family saying college was “for rich people” and not for me. Had it not been for Les and the other two (my prior science teacher and my mentor in Big Brothers of Kalasmazoo), I might have sadly accepted the family script and never gone. But I got that degree and more. I went on to earn a PhD in biology, to teach college biology for 40 years, to be named Distingiushed Professor, to retire as professor emeritus, and to have a college science building named for me. I have never ceased to be grateful to Les for putting me on this path. I dedicated the fourth edition of one of my college textbooks to Les, with a photo of the two of us (both white-haired by then), taken by Helen in front of their home in Three Rivers. He will be missed, but never forgotten as long as I yet live.

  5. Walking into our family’s living room and seeing Mr and Mrs Greene sitting and chatting with my parents always made me smile – how could it not? They had the loveliest smiles that greeted me and had a genuine interest in the answer to ‘How are you?’

    It went beyond the ‘how are you’ as Mr. Greene encouraged me and my passion for biology and the Heyl Scholarship at Kalamazoo College. While I have not seen him for many years, I have the warmest memories and gratitude for Mr Greene and the kindness and curiosity he spread and shared with me.

  6. My sincere condolences to the family. Mr. Greene was my biology and aviation teacher at Loy Norrix in 1970. He had a profound impact on my education/ life. Some of his comments on life and high school education remain with me to this every day. I loved his “I am a HAWK” comment as he introduced himself to the class, the very first day. May his soul rest in peace.

  7. Brian and Mel. I am sorry for your loss.
    I enjoyed coming out to the farm to help your dad with some of his project cars. He was such a joy and fun to help and be around

    • I send my condolences to the Greene Family. What a great guy Les was! He taught at Loy Norrix H.S. with my dad, Pat Hudson. I know Dad considered him his best friend and loved him like a brother. What fun they had! May he rest in peace and may they be reunited in friendship in paradise!

  8. I always looked forward to our visits out to my Uncle’s farm so l could see what he working on . He had a Sunbeam he put a V8 in , he had a couple airplanes , l even saw a Rolls-Royce there he was fixing for someone . As l got older l realized he accomplished so other great things like building his own house , lake cottage,
    airplane while being a good husband and raising two great kids and mentoring many students . A life well lived indeed .l will miss him as l do my Aunt Helen .

  9. A wonderful man. We went to church together. He and Helen hosted hayrides and bonfires for a church group. Melanie would bring her dog. My sympathy to the family.

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