John Henry Green, Jr. of Odessa passed away at home of natural causes on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
He was born on February 18, 1939 in Crane, Texas to Eloise Inez and John Henry Green, Sr. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Rita Green Ellison. He was a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Green graduated from Crane High School in 1957. While a student at Crane HS, he was a stand-out athlete. He was an all-state football player for the Golden Cranes and also a hotshot basketball player.
He continued his athletic pursuits after high school by accepting a basketball scholarship at Odessa College. A year later, he attended McMurry College where he played football. He then attended and completed his degree at Texas Tech University where he received a B.S. in education in 1961. At Texas Tech, Green was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. He attended law school at Baylor University and received his J.D. in 1964. While at Baylor, he was a member of the Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity.
Green was admitted to the Texas State Bar in 1964 and opened his law practice in Odessa in 1965. Four years later in 1969, he was appointed as Ector County District Attorney by Governor Preston Smith. He was one of the youngest district attorneys to ever be appointed at that time. During his 11-year tenure as district attorney, he built a reputation for Ector County across the state as a county tough on crime and tough on criminals. He was honored to serve and protect the people of his community.
In private practice, Green had many successes. He represented many clients, had many wins, and some even resulted in record-setting judgements. As a lawyer, his goal was to represent his clients in such a way that the highest form of justice had been served. In one of the most notable cases of his career, he fought for his client all the way to the United States Supreme Court by first winning a judgement in Baltimore’s US District Court and then winning the appeal in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. He built his reputation on hard work and dedication to his clients. Although he took on fewer cases in recent years, he always maintained his law license and never officially retired. He enjoyed knowing that should the opportunity arise; he could jump back in to build a case.
During his career, he served and was honored in various ways. In his years as district attorney, he represented Ector County at several annual district attorney conferences across the country. In 1976, he was asked to represent Texas as a delegate at the Democratic National Convention which was held in New York City. In April 1987, he was named to the Texas Criminal Justice Task Force. He was a long-standing member of the H.A. McFarland Masonic Lodge. He was also a member of the Odessa Chuck Wagon Gang for over 40 years.
Throughout their 44-year marriage, John was devoted to his wife Winona. They worked together, traveled together, and in recent years, were constant companions to one another. Green had many personal interests and hobbies. He traveled extensively throughout his adult life. Some of his favorite destinations were Panama, Las Vegas, Costa Rica, and Colombia, just to name a few. For years, he and Winona were avid scuba divers. He played handball daily at the YMCA and competed in many tournaments. Beyond participating in sports, he was the ultimate fan. He attended countless games, cheering on teams like the Permian Panthers, the Texas Tech Red Raiders, and the Texas Rangers. He also loved coaching youth sports like football, baseball, and basketball for his grandson Seth. Additionally, he and Winona were fervent supporters of the Odessa College Wrangler Club for many years.
Green was a collector of many things. From baseball cards to action figures to coins, his interests changed over the years, but he enjoyed the research and the hunt for new items to add to his collections. He amassed an impressive personal collection of Nolan Ryan memorabilia of which he was particularly proud.
Through thick and thin, his dedication to his family was paramount. He is survived by his loving wife, Winona McEachern Green of Odessa; daughter Angela Green Geadelmann, her husband Eric Geadelmann, and children Kurt, Katarina, and Keira of Lone Tree, CO; daughter Johnna Kerry Green, her husband Chad Wasser, and son Elliott of Los Angeles, CA; stepdaughter Cari Childers Riley and husband Guy Riley of Odessa; grandson Seth Langford, wife Monica Langford, and children Maximus, Violet, Isabelle, and Chloe of Odessa; granddaughter Mallory Langford of Odessa; and granddaughter Alexandra Langford of Kailua, HI.
The family would like to acknowledge the love, patience, and care given to him by Luz Maria Gardea, Anali Munoz, and Mabel Adebayo.
Memorials in his name may be made to the Odessa Family YMCA.