Richard Patrick (Pat) Greene
October 31, 1935- March 28, 2024

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Richard Patrick (Pat) Greene passed away peacefully in his home with his wife and daughter by his side on March 28, 2024.

Pat was born on October 31, 1935 in Bremerton, Washington to Naval Captain Richard (Dick) and Josene Greene. Two years later, his sister Sharon came along. Due to their father’s naval job, the family moved around throughout his childhood from the Pacific Northwest, to Florida, to Maryland. It was during these early years that Pat’s love of nature and adventure was born. He grew up fishing, rock hunting, and always learning.

Pat followed in his dad’s footsteps and attended the Naval Academy at Annapolis from 1954-1958 alongside future Senator John McCain. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, he served overseas in the Pacific. While onboard, he served as the Recreation Director, an early indicator of his active personality and ability to form community everywhere he went.

After serving overseas in the Navy, he returned to the West Coast where he met his future wife, Mary, at an Officer’s Club dance in Long Beach. Pat was immediately smitten and insisted within a couple of weeks that she marry him. They tied the knot on October 27, 1962 and moved to Hawaii for an extended honeymoon where Pat enjoyed the beautiful beaches and lots of surfing.

Pat and Mary moved back to Oxnard where they welcomed their daughter Alisa to the family. Pat attended Ventura Junior College and lifeguarded over the summers while earning enough credits to transfer to UC Santa Barbara to get his master’s degree in Geology.

Now with two degrees to his name, Pat got a job with the Canadian Survey Company and his family moved in with his parents in Bremerton, Washington in 1965. It was here where their son, Tom, was born and completed their family of four. Pat worked for a few years in the oil industry in Alaska and Texas before deciding to move back to California and pursue his true passion- teaching.

After scouting out colleges across California, Pat decided to join the newly established College of the Redwoods in Eureka, where he was the first geology instructor. He taught geology, oceanography, rocks and minerals, math, and more over his 25 year career.

After a few years living in Eureka, the family decided to move further south to sunnier Fortuna. They first lived on Holly Lane near Alisa and Tom’s elementary school until they came across the perfect piece of land at the end of Newburg Road on one of their many family bike rides. On their fondly named “Funny Farm,” they tended to an orchard, garden, menagerie of farm animals, and planted what would 50 years later become a redwood forest.

Pat was a devoted father and attended Alisa and Tom’s many extracurricular sports, including Tom’s cross country races and Alisa’s gymnastic meets. Pat even learned the rules of soccer so he could coach a co-ed youth soccer team when the sport was just starting out in Humboldt County. Pat and Mary took the family on many beach adventures, camping trips in the redwoods, swimming at the local river bar and rock hunting in the desert.

After retiring from College of the Redwoods in 1994, Pat and Mary split their time between Humboldt County, CA and Tucson, where they took on the new role of grandparents to Marissa and Clara. Pat spent many hours reading them books, including the entire Wizard of Oz series, playing board games, riding bicycles, playing music, and going on many family adventures. Pat and Mary ran “Funny Farm Summer Camp” for the girls and shared their love of the outdoors and the Humboldt County Fair.

When not busy with his family, Pat was devoted to a myriad of old and new activities and clubs: bicycling, hiking, volleyball, golfing, swimming, rock hunting, jewelry making, playing cards, painting, and lots and lots of music. Pat played with many musical groups such as the Cat Mountain Jamboree in Tucson and the Deb Woods Band and the Ukelelians in Fortuna.

Pat and Mary were fully engaged with the Fortuna Senior Center and never shied away from taking on a leadership role. In Tucson he was the President of the Gem and Mineral Society and led hikes out into the desert. In Fortuna he led the Senior Bike Group and organized various music groups. He loved staying up to date with the latest technology and taught himself how to set up email groups, zoom links, and coordinate between the members of his clubs.

Throughout his life, Pat sought out adventure and learning new things. His infectious laughter and warm smile brought joy to countless gatherings and he will be dearly missed by all.

He is survived by his wife Mary of almost 62 years, daughter Alisa (Neil) MacAvoy of Redwood City, Calif., son Tom (Cindy) Greene of Culver City, Calif. and two granddaughters — Marissa and Clara Greene MacAvoy of San Francisco. He is also survived by his sister Sharon Hope (children Duster, Rick, Kathy) of San Diego, and many sister and brother in laws and nieces and nephews. Pat loved animals and always had a dog (current Buddy) and cat (current Stretch).

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to your local school’s music program or that you plant a tree in his memory.

With love and gratitude, Mary Greene and Greene/MacAvoy families.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Pat Greene’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.