“Harry loved the hometown charm here,” said his wife Cindy. “Most people, when they grow up in East County, they end up moving over the hill – but not Harry. He loved it here; he never wanted to leave.”
Green, 52, died of natural causes on April 30. In addition to Cindy, Green is survived by his daughter Stephanie, sister Carolyn Moss, brother Willie Odum and nieces and nephews.
Born in Antioch, Green grew up in nearby Oakley, attended Liberty High School and earned an Associate of Arts degree from Los Medanos College. Early on in his career, Green held a variety of jobs, but it was his experience at the Brentwood News in the late 1980s that cemented his professional path.
“He was so thrilled to have that full-time job and benefits; that was a really big deal to us back then,” said Cindy. “He was a great writer who really loved his work. He told the truth, but he did it in a sensitive, compassionate way. There was no yellow journalism about him.”
After a few years with the News, Green left to open his own public relations firm, and in 1992 founded the first of a number of area publications that included the Discovery Bay Clipper, the Clayton Pioneer and the Brentwood Bee.
For years he was a well-known face at local community events and fundraisers, and the voice of Liberty High School football games in the late 1990s. Green also ran for the Oakley City Council and was responsible for naming the now-famous Brentwood CornFest.
Longtime friend Annette Beckstrand first met Green in 1995, when she did some freelance reporting for the Brentwood Bee. Her eventual passion for local politics began with her coverage of the Brentwood City Council. “Everything I am (professionally) and everything I’ve done in Brentwood, I owe to Harry,” said Beckstrand. “Harry was the beginning of everything and anything that became important to us in Brentwood. He was my example that no one is ever too small or insignificant to help.”
For Green, it was always about family and community. “Every time I turned around, Harry was doing something to help,” added Beckstrand. “Whether it was food, or to make a phone call to someone who might be in a position to help someone else – that was the Harry I knew and loved, and the Harry I will miss.”
“Harry loved his family; he loved everyone,” said Cindy. “He would want to be remembered for all the good he has done in the community over the past 20 years. He loved his town.”