Donald “Don” Sanford Green
Donald “Don” Sanford Green
Don Green, of Modesto, CA, beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Friend passed away at 92.
Don was born in his Uncle Ross’ Log Cabin in McLoud, Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, one of two children born to Ray and Orah Green. The family moved several times in Oklahoma from McLoud, Ponca City, Oklahoma City and Shawnee where he was left an impression when he was hit by a Model T at the age of 3. There was a “T” shaped ridge left on his skull and he was unconscious for three days. On the move to New Mexico his parents used a Model “T” pickup that broke down in Santa Rosa, NM. In 1927 the family moved to Southern California on the Santa Fe Railroad spending the $10 they got from selling the “T”. In Southern California he attended schools in the La Habra, Bellflower, and Norwalk area. He graduated from Excelsior High School in Norwalk in 1940 After graduation Don worked in construction in Compton, CA.
Don witnessed the ‘Battle of Los Angeles’ and joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1942, and was a proud WWII Vet of the USCG. He graduated from Carpenter’s Mate School in Brooklyn, NY. While there he enjoyed seeing the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and the Subways, and when finished he returned to Alameda USCG Base. The first Ship he was assigned to was the USS Hunter Liggett APA-14 where they trained Marines how to land on the far side of San Clemente Island during war games. There 1600 Marines using 12 Landing Crafts hitting the beach with 3 inch guns firing, and a heavy cruiser firing a 12 inch gun over the deck of the Leggett. After 23 months on the Leggett, he was transferred to the USS General Freeman APA-143, and twice they took 3000 replacement soldiers to Japan on this troop ship. The return trip took the USS General Freeman through the Aleutian Islands. On this last trip he was transferred to the Mt. Rainer CG at Fort Lewis, WA. From Fort Lewis he traveled by train to Powell Station in San Franciso to get his honorable discharge in 1946.
Upon returning to Modesto his sister Gene arranged a blind date with Marjorie Sorensen from Patterson and in November of 1946 he married the love of his life Marjorie. In 1946, Don started building cabinets at Valley Builders Supply in Modesto. In 1947 he started Riverside Cabinet Shop on River Road in Modesto with Elvin Overholtzer. In 1953 Don became the sole owner and continued what became a 40-year career as a custom cabinet maker. In 1980 he sold the property to Pepsi Cola and started his semi-retirement by moving his shop to Ceres. In 1987 Don closed his shop and started his retirement years with Marge. They did extensive traveling around the country, camping in the 48 lower states and Canada. Don and Marge lived in their home until 2012 when they moved to an assisted living facility.
Don was preceded in death by his parents Ray and Orah, his daughter Nancy Diane Green Bradley and his sister Eugenia “Gene” Ericksen (Andy).
Don is survived by his wife of 68 years, Marjorie Ann Sorensen Green; two sons Roger (Nancy) Green of Modesto, and Douglas (Dee) Green of Vacaville, son-in-law Melvin (Barbara) Bradley of Oakdale, three grandchildren: Cheryle (Raquel) Fleming-Bradley of Clovis, Ryan Green and Jason Green of Modesto; a great-grandson Tanner Bradley, and several nieces and nephews.
Don was dearly loved and will be greatly missed.
Inurnment with Military Honors will be held at a later date at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Santa Nella. A Celebration of Life will be held on January 24, 2015, at 11:00AM at Grace Lutheran Church 617 West Orangeburg Avenue, Modesto, CA. 95350
Memorial gifts are invited in Don’s name for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Sacramento Chapter, care of 10409 Fox Borough Ct, Oakdale Ca, 95361.
or the Alexander Cohen Hospice House, 2201 Euclid Ave, Hughson CA 95326.