Cover photo for James L.  Greene's Obituary
James L.  Greene Profile Photo
1934 James 2020

James L. Greene

October 1, 1934 — August 26, 2020

James L. Greene
October 1, 1934 – August 26, 2020

“Jimmy” to his family, a more professional “Jim” to his friends and colleagues, James L. Greene was born in Tifton, Georgia and completed high school in Camilla. Escaping the flatlands of south Georgia in 1951, he arrived in Atlanta, got a job as a clerk in a bank, and enrolled in night school. The job evolved into a twenty-eight-year career at C&S National Bank, eventually as head of state-wide operations. More importantly, there he met a dazzling bookkeeper from the hills of north Georgia. To get to know her was to come to know her Savior, and Jim was soon a committed follower of Jesus Christ. He and Marlene Thurman were married in 1956, she providing the inspiration to turn his lackluster academic endeavors into a bachelor’s degree with honors from Georgia State College and into a drive for excellence in all that he undertook.

Jim’s career with the bank eventually led to his founding a consulting practice in 1978 serving banks around the country. In the 1980’s he partnered with a long-time colleague in Oak Brook, IL to build a business acquiring and managing several Illinois banks, which after twenty years became part of the Fifth-Third Corporation in Ohio. He chose to become a “Flying Colonel” as a customer of Delta Air Lines (lots of miles!) rather than leave the Atlanta home his family loved. In the mid 1990’s, he left the road for a somewhat early retirement, investing years with family and friends at St. Simons Island and at Lake Oconee, places which he dearly loved. Jim’s passion for excellence in his work was always apparent but paled in comparison to his devotion to his family. He literally beamed whenever he spoke of them.

Jim and Marlene have two sons. Doug and Julia Greene, of Americus, GA, have four of Jim’s grandchildren and five of his ten (an eleventh is forthcoming) great grandchildren. Mark and Tracey Greene, of Peachtree Corners, GA, have the other two grandchildren, and five of the great grandchildren. Nothing thrilled Jim more than to have his large family together. He organized (and underwrote) hotel rooms at the beach, ski trips to the Rockies, a cruise to Alaska, all for the joy of seeing his kids and grandkids laughing together. He abused countless pairs of trousers playing on a basement floor with balls, trucks, or tea sets.

Jim and Marlene moved to Tucker in 1964, joining Briarlake Baptist Church where Jim remained a member through the rest of his life. His sons were privileged to observe his leadership there, to hear him tell often of the joy of following Christ, the joy of giving, and to see that joy in action. The roles he filled there are numerous; the lives he touched are significant. He was a generous man empowered by a generous Lord.

In his later years Jim lived with a heart-breaking disease, frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Through the physical and cognitive ravages, he never lost his enduring smile, firm handshake, and warm response, blessing everyone he met. For seven years Julius Kanuhi was his constant friend, companion, and caregiver. No one could have loved him better.

The family will hold a private graveside service at Arlington Memorial Cemetery on Sunday, August 30. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Briarlake Baptist Church, 3715 Lavista Rd, Decatur, GA, 30033, or to support research into Frontotemporal Dementia at Emory University 1762 Clifton Rd NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30322. Please reference FTD research and “in memory of Jim Greene.”

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James L. Greene, please visit our flower store.

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