Kenneth D. “Ken/Kenny” Greene moved on to his next adventure Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, after a long battle with leukemia as a result of exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.
Born July 22, 1944, he was a graduate of Portville (N.Y.) Central School, Olean (N.Y.) Business Institute, the Community College of the Air Force, the Air Force Senior NCO Academy and Saint Leo College.
Living in the mountains during his youth, he became an avid hunter, fisherman and trapper. He played football and ran track in high school. In the Air Force he played football, baseball and fastpitch softball.
He definitely marched to the beat of a different drummer; he was a drummer in high school, several drum corps, country and rock and roll bands.
Ken had a great zest for life, having raced dirt-modified stock cars, flat track and hill-climbing motorcycles. He was one of the first factory sponsored Yamaha snowmobile racers and a highly recognized restorer of classic cars.
A highly decorated Vietnam veteran, he retired from the Air Force in 1988 after an exceptionally successful career that included three tours of duty at HQ TAC (now ACC). Decorations included Meritorious Service Medal (4), Air Force Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Service Stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with device, Republic of Vietnam Campaign medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship ribbon and 21 additional medals/ribbons. During his career he was well known for mentorship to his subordinates, total dedication and professionalism.
He also had an extremely successful civil service career working for the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Homeland Security. He retired in May 2004.
Ken was a past or present member of the American Legion, Moose, VFW and AMVETS.
When he was in his early 60’s, he was often asked, after the adventurous life he had led, what was missing? He would say “the love of a good woman.” In 2004 he met Barbara. On Sep. 15, 2007, that missing piece was completed when they wed. He would thereafter tell everyone that she was the greatest thing that ever happened to him in his life.
Ken was a husband that gave Barbara more respect in 12 years of marriage than most get in a lifetime. When there were differences of opinion, he would always say, “sorry, you were right!” Barbara is happy to say she was right 75% of the time. He gave Barbara a wonderful life with many, many happy memories. He was the love of her life and “The Wind Beneath My Wings.”
He is survived by his devoted wife, Barbara Hill Stalnaker; daughter, Dawn (Doug); son, Donald (Kathy); stepchildren, Angie (Robert) and Scott (Stacey); sisters, Silvia and Glenda; and brother, Rick (Marilyn). He also had grandchildren, Kevin, Jeffrey, Camden, Kodi and Lindsay; step-grandchildren, Amber, Jonathan, Jesse and Logan; and three great-grandchildren.
Ken was predeceased by his father, Donald; and mother, Betty-Jean.
Throughout his life, Ken gave much and asked for nothing.
Per his direction, he will be cremated. A visitation will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 15, 2020) at Riverside-Altmeyer Funeral Home, 7415 River Road, Newport News, with a memorial service to follow at 2 p.m. His cremains will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Donations may be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project at support.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Date: Saturday, February 15, 2020
Time: 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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