Mayor Reg Green, who passed away on Sunday, January 26th, will be remembered as Judge Rick Woolery called him: “a credit to his community.” At his funeral on Friday, January 31st, a touching tribute was delivered by City Attorney David Widdoes who had worked with Green for years and had known him for “most of my life.”
Widdoes characterized Green as someone who held his regard for his town as high as could be. “Reg Green loved Sapulpa, and whether you knew him well or not, he made your life here better,” he said.
Read the full excerpt below.
I had the privilege of knowing Reg for most of my life, and the better fortune of working closely with him over the last twenty years in my service to the City Council. Like so many others, I knew Reg as a colleague, a mentor, and above all, a good friend.
Duty, decency, reliability, kindness, were all qualities that Reg lived out every day of his life. He was one of the most kind, genuinely caring gentleman, I have ever known. And this is evident from the many statements made by those responding to the sad news that Reg was called away from us to his eternal home: “tireless, thoughtful leader never concerned with himself”; “a great man that loved Sapulpa and who wanted only the best for it”; “highly respected leader, an asset to his community”; “Wonderful person/friend to so many”; “Great Mayor, but an even Greater Man.”
Reg Green was a Sapulpan, through and through, having been born and raised here, meeting and marrying his high school sweetheart Carolyn here, starting their family and raising their son Ryan here, and devoting himself to this community his entire life here.
Reg Green loved Sapulpa, and whether you knew him well or not, he made your life here better.
Reg’s devotion and service to the City, first as a councilor and then as Mayor is well known. In fact, Reg devoted more than one-third of his life in selfless service to our city, having been sworn as city councilor on April 1, 1996, elected as vice-mayor on May 3, 2004, and elected by his peers to serve as Mayor on July 5, 2011. Had he been able to finish his last term, Reg would have been the longest-serving mayor in Sapulpa history.
Under Reg’s leadership, Sapulpa experienced many changes and benefits, and some of the more recent developments that Reg took particular pride in included the creation of the Gateway and Polson Industrial Parks (which brought in more than 200 million dollars in improvements and hundreds of high paying jobs to our community) and most recently, the successful 40 million dollar bond campaign that Reg was critically involved in to improve the quality of life for all Sapulpans and position us perfectly to take advantage of the growth and development we already see occurring in our town.
I got to see Reg in the hospital on the Wednesday after the bond election and we spoke for several minutes. I did not know this would be the last time we would be able to talk together, but I do know that Reg was extremely pleased that all the bonds passed, but even at this time as he faced serious personal health issues, his only concern then was not for himself, but with how we were going to move forward to create the best Sapulpa he knew the people of this town deserve.
Reg often said to me that the best and most exciting times for Sapulpa are right in front of us…and he lived his best life, his whole life, in a way to make that Sapulpa our reality.
For me, Reg Green was one of the best men I’ve have ever known, and I know that many of you here would agree. And I think perhaps his finest quality may have been his patience: an inherent ability to listen, to absorb and to offer a point of view based on quiet, measured wisdom. And although Reg was serious and disciplined when it came to our Town, I must tell you that he could never resist the opportunity to have a laugh with friends and loved ones, given half the chance. Reg had this unique ability to have a witty comeback for almost any conversation, another quality that served him well in all his relationships, and something that he definitely shared and passed on in his family.
What got me was you knew it was coming, but you never knew exactly what little pun he had waiting, but you knew there would be one, always followed by that wry smile and chuckle and a little gleam in his eye.
Reg Green was a great Mayor, greater man and an even better friend.
I would like to remind us that we cannot know for certain how long we have, nor foresee the trials or misfortunes that may test us. We cannot always know God’s exact plan for us. However, what we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, with love, with joy, use each day to show those closest to us how much we care about them, treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves, learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And, we can strive at all costs, to make a better community, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of others.
This is how Reg Green lived.
This is who Reg Green was.
This is his legacy.