Dennis Green, 1940-2011
Dennis Herbert Green passed away on March 4, due to complications from septic shock. He was 70 years old and lived in Alameda.
Born in Eugene, Ore., Dennis was the only son of Herbert and LeReine Green. Growing up in the Great Northwest, the family relocated frequently, as Dennis’s father was a sawyer. They eventually settled in Eureka, Calif.
Some of Dennis’s favorite experiences were in Blue Lake, Calif. In addition to playing hide and go seek with his little sister, Bonita, in the cemetery, Dennis attended the local grammar school, where three grades where crammed into each room. It was at this school that the librarian befriended Dennis and thus began his life long love of the written word.
Dennis attended the University at California, Santa Barbara, receiving his master’s degree in English Literature. He then taught for 10 years at UCSB.
Moving to the Bay Area, Dennis worked at Children’s Hospital Oakland as its public relations director, and was creative director for Lazzari & Green Associates. The agency had over 60 clients in 20 years, including Doric Development, the developers of Harbor Bay. It also received many awards, including a TV-B, Telly, and an Addy, for television and print work.
Dennis was president of the Alameda Chamber of Commerce for 18 months, and he served on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Club. Living on “a small island off of East Oakland,” as he referred to Alameda, he loved the people of Alameda and the politics. During this period of time he also returned to one of his other great loves, teaching advertising and marketing at Hayward State University and UC Extension.
Dennis was a unique character. With a quick wit, tongue and writing ability he wrote many a letter-to-the-editor and penned a column in the Alameda Sun for four years, “Geezerville, a wry take on aging.” He was also quite fashion forward for an older gentleman, with a style all his own. He always said, “It’s all about the costuming.” Hats, rings and tattoos – he knew how to have a good time.
Dennis had long suffered a multitude of health issues, and always handled them with humor and a positive outlook, though sometimes, medications would get the better of him.
Dennis wrote, and lived to write. He had a “Chums List” to whom he’d send regular missives. Toward the last two months of his life, the postings were less frequent, but he always said, “it’s a good day” when he could write.
Dennis loved his Sunday brunch in San Francisco, with Lucca the wonder dog and his wife, Diane. Special thanks to Perry’s on Union Street for their indulgences (sourdough toast with strawberry jam), and kindness in the last months. (Kevin, Robert et al. You’re the best!)
Dennis is survived by his sons, Mitch and Max, of Seattle, Wash.; Barrett, of New Jersey; and his sister Bonita Finley of Petaluma. Dennis will be most passionately missed by his partner and wife of 25 years, Diane Lazzari, and his devoted dog, Lucca.
As Jim Morrison sang, “No one gets out of here alive,” so today tell someone that you love them, and even though it’s not a holiday, toast to your friends and family, and give the dog that extra treat.
A private memorial is pending.