Paul Adrian Green, former principal of Larkin High School in Elgin, Illinois, died February 2, 2002, aged 84, at Pinecrest Community in Mount Morris, Illinois. Paul was born June 10, 1917, in Byesville, Ohio, to Fred Finley Green and Jane Graham Tuck. He grew up in Christopher, Illinois and graduated from Christopher Community High School in 1935. He received a B.S. degree from Southern Illinois University in 1943 and did graduate work at the University of Iowa and Northern Illinois University, where he received his Master’s degree in 1964. He was awarded the John Hay Humanities Fellowship to study at Williams College in 1965.
Paul enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in June 1941 and subsequently volunteered for Carlson’s Raiders, joining Company C of the Second Marine Raider Battalion.
His company defended Midway Island during the Japanese assault in June 1942 and shipped to Guadalcanal in August 1942. At age 25, he was the third-oldest member of his company.
Paul was the unofficial librarian. To borrow a book, you had to leave a book. He kept the books in an ammunition locker, accurately labeled as weapons of war. The locker held not trashy novels, but rather works of American literature by authors such as Mark Twain, Herman Melville, and Ernest Hemingway.
On November 11, 1942, he was leading a rifle squad on patrol when he was wounded by an enemy sniper, for which he was later awarded the Purple Heart.
After recuperating, Paul was reassigned to Quantico, Virginia for officer training, graduating as a 2nd Lieutenant.
He was posted to an amphibious training command at Camp Pendleton in California, where he taught Leathernecks to land amphibious tanks safely in high surf.
He said he never lost a Marine during training.
In November 1944 his unit “invaded” Foster Avenue Beach in Chicago as part of the Navy’s “Pacific Theater” exhibition.
In 1945 he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
He was slated to participate in the invasion of Japan when the war ended.
After the war, Paul served as a teacher and football coach in Christopher.
He met his future wife, Mary Katherine Slifer, while they were both taking graduate courses at the University of Iowa. They wed August 12, 1947 in Iowa City.
In 1951, Paul and Mary moved to Elgin, where he taught history, geography, and social studies at Elgin High School.
He coached football, basketball, and track. In 1955, the basketball team played in the Illinois state tournament, placing second in the state.
He was appointed Dean of Boys of Elgin High in 1956 and Assistant Principal in 1957. Paul became Assistant Principal at Larkin High School when the school opened in 1962. Two years later he was named Principal, a position he held until his retirement in 1978. He credited his Marine training and experience for teaching him the skills he needed to be a principal.
All his children attended Larking while he was its principal.
Paul was a member of the First Congregational Church of Elgin.
He and his wife loved nature, taking frequent trips to area forest preserves and state parks.
He was an avid, lifelong fisherman and spent many summers with family and friends at a cabin near Red Lake in Ontario, Canada.
He and Mary traveled to Arizona, Alaska, New Zealand, and England.
He is survived by his wife, Mary; his brother, Allen Green of Christopher, Illinois; his sister, Mary Falcher of Sun City West, Arizona; his children, Paul Green, Jr. (Martha), of Harvard, Massachusetts, Allen Green (Edna) of Streamwood, Valerie Grimm (Roy) of Noank, Connecticut, Jennifer Green (Roman Castillo) and Philip Green of Elgin and William Green of Chicago; six grandchildren, Sarah Green, Duncan Grimm, Mateo, Maria Alessandra and Diana Castillo, and Colin Green.
He was preceded in death by six brothers, Ernest, Werdell, Herbert, Robert, Harold and Lawrence, and four sisters, Esther, Lucille, Mildred and Ruth.
Friends may call at the Laird Funeral Home in Elgin on Thursday, February 7, 2002 from 6 to 9 p.m. Reverend Paris Donehoo will conduct his funeral service on Friday, February 8, 2002 at 10 a.m. at the First Congregational Church of Elgin.
Donations may be offered in his memory to the Pinecrest Community, 414 S. Wesley Ave., Mt. Morris, IL 61054. Paul will be buried at the Alice Cemetery in Conrad, Iowa, near his wife’s childhood home.