Pat & Jerry both grew up in and around Pine Bluff. They met at a community meeting and started dating their junior year.
Jerry was born in Pine Bluff in 1947, the first of two sons born to Everett Nolan and Ada Mae Pierce Green. He graduated from White Hall High School in 1965.
Following high school graduation, Jerry spent one year at the UofA then he went to work and joined the Navy Reserves. The Reserves meant two years of inactive duty and then active duty. The end of two years of meetings coincided with Pat’s graduation from nursing school and they were married in May of 1968.
You won’t find Pat’s name under her picture in the yearbooks from Dollarway High School. That’s because Jerry was the only one to call her ‘Pat’ back then. Known as “Penny” to her friends and family, she was named Patricia Ann when she was born in Pine Bluff in 1947 to Joseph Marion and Berthie Moring Cash. When they were both sixteen and began dating, Jerry called her ‘Pat’ just to be different. After they married it was a simple change from “Penny Cash” to Pat Green. “Old” friends and family still call her Penny.
The second oldest child of four children, Pat’s parents encouraged her to learn “how to make a living on your own… just in case you ever need a job.” To them that meant she should become a nurse or a secretary. She thinks they thought if they sent her to nursing school she would marry a doctor but she already had other plans.
After graduating from Dollarway High School in 1965, she attended St. Vincent’s School of Professional Nursing in Little Rock. All students were required to live in the dorm (the area now occupied by CARTI). Married students were not accepted and were to be expelled if they married before graduation. There were no male students. Freshmen curfew was 7:30 pm and any student not making a passing grade at any time would have been denied permission to leave the hospital grounds. For courses taken at LRU (now UALR) students were not allowed to drive their own vehicles (few of us had one anyway), but were delivered by a bright blue school bus named The Ava Maria. They tried desperately to get the bus driver to let them off far from the science complex but he insisted on driving right up to the door.
Very aware that Jerry’s active duty in the Navy would begin shortly after they married, it was assumed that the Navy wasn’t needed in Vietnam. Right? The orders came quickly. He left Pine Bluff in July for Vallejo, Calif., and was on his way to Vietnam in November to serve on Navy river boats. It turned out to be a short tour. Jerry was injured on December 21 and on his way back to the states by New Year’s Eve. Pat arrived at the US Naval Hospital in Philadelphia two days ahead of Jerry and was in the entrance of the ER when he was wheeled in.
Pat quickly found work as a Registered Nurse and remained in Philadelphia until Jerry was discharged in July of 1969. They returned to Pine Bluff. While Jerry continued to heal, Pat worked for the Health Department. It seemed that their lives had been on hold but by June of 1970 they were back on track. They moved to Fayetteville so that Jerry could return to the U of A. Pat worked as a school health nurse for the Fayetteville School District and as a pediatric nurse at Washington General Hospital in the summers. Their first child, Bradley Michael, was born in September, 1971. They thought they’d had enough of hard times. Life was good!
In December of 1972 they moved to Memphis where Jerry had taken a job with the accounting firm of Arthur Andersen & Co. as an auditor. His primary client was Allied Telephone Company in Little Rock. Allied was one of the larger clients for the Memphis office and Jerry spent about six months a year in Little Rock for four years. In February 1977 as Jerry was finishing the Allied audit for 1976, Allied offered him a job. Even though he was hired to start an internal audit department, the majority of his time for the first few years was spent on special projects such as financial statements for quarterly and annual reports, SEC filings and valuation analysis for potential acquisitions. During the last half of a 24 year career with what is now Alltel Jerry was assistant treasurer and treasurer. He was involved in a lot of exciting projects (OK, exciting for an accountant from White Hall) like working on the original listing on the New York Stock Exchange, several major acquisitions, and borrowing lots of money in private and public markets.
Pat continued to work when they moved to Memphis until Christopher David was born in July, 1975. She was ready for the job she really wanted most….. Full time Mom. But Pat and Jerry were about to face the toughest challenge of our lives. Four year old Brad died in an accident in 1976.
Jerry’s job with Alltel brought them home to Arkansas and Andrea Lora was born in Little Rock in October, 1977. After becoming certified as a Childbirth Educator Pat taught Lamaze classes for nine years.
Pat joined FUMC in 1980 and was very active in teaching children’s Sunday School, VBS, and Confirmation and also served as UMW President. In 1987 she agreed to take the interim part-time position as Director of Children’s Ministries until SPR hired a replacement. She learned two things: 1) There is no such thing as part-time work in the church and, 2) SPR stays really busy! It took two years before a replacement was hired.
Pat has served on the District and Conference Councils on Ministries and as FUMC delegate to Annual Conference for several years. She attended the 2004 General Conference in Pittsburg, working as an aide. “Every United Methodist should attend at least one of these meetings. We have wonderful leaders and no decision is taken lightly or made without prayerful guidance.”
After “retirement” from FUMC Pat stumbled across a new program being offered by Janet Carson and the Pulaski County Extension Service. She had never done much gardening but the Master Gardener Program sounded interesting for a short-term study. She loved everything about it. Shortly after taking the course, she was asked to participate in discussions about a possible garden show. From the beginning the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show was a major hit. Pat served on the board of that organization in various capacities, including president, for many years and remains much involved in the Show and the Master Gardener program. This year the organization hosted the International Master Gardener Conference in Central Arkansas.
Jerry and Pat built a new home in 2005 and she has loved every minute of gardening and every plant that goes in the ground. Though Jerry never took the Master Gardener course, he has earned his honorary license as a wheel-barrow operator and is a Master Hole-Digger and an expert at pruning! He enjoys golf (well, some days he enjoys it!) and his golfing buddies and keeps up with his “old retired guys” from Alltel.
When Jerry retired from Alltel in 2001, they bought their first RV and began to travel. Grandchildren began to arrive at about that same time and quickly gained on them. They often find a conflict between their desire to roam the country and helping out with the grands. So far the little ones are winning!
Travels always include a tour of gardens and detailed research on the local restaurants. Pat has tried, quite unsuccessfully, to play golf though she does admire the landscaping around the courses. “I may give it another shot. After all, I am the family champ at putt-putt.”
Chris and his wife Kimberly have three children, seven year old Lily, five year old Thomas and two year old Benjamin. Chris is in the US Army and he and his family recently moved to Ft. Campbell, KY. Andrea and her husband, Dustin Strube, live in North Little Rock. Andrea is a Speech Pathologist and owns Centre Stage Dance Academy. Dustin coaches baseball and teaches at Catholic High School. They have four year old, Riley Ann and one year old, Alex. “Wanna see pictures?”