Kingsley Lawrence Greene “faced the final curtain” this week at age 95. He was a lifelong educator, scientist and musician; accomplished writer, storyteller and wine connoisseur; proud family man and Cornell alum. To further paraphrase his favorite crooner: He lived a life that’s full, traveled each and every highway, and indeed did it his way.
The book he’d been reading was a biography of fellow scientist E.O. Wilson, who died the same day – so, December 27, 2021 was a tough day for the science world, but you know wherever the two of them are now, there’s a brilliant conversation going on.
Professor Greene henceforth will be answering our science questions, telling stories, critiquing our wine choices and tapping out the beat of a great jazz tune, from another realm. Know that if you take a nature hike or encourage a student’s curiosity or belt out a time-honored standard, you are channeling him. But if it’s hands-on help you’re looking for, like identifying a bird song or learning to drive a boat, you’re now stuck with YouTube.
He was most grateful for his loving family and the many friends and colleagues who so enriched his life. Those of us lucky enough to have known him are grateful in return for his legacy of love, learning and laughter. The family will hold a celebration this summer on Grenadier Island in the St. Lawrence River where he vacationed all his life – one of the many places his spirit lives on with gusto.
For those wishing to celebrate in the meantime, he would be honored for donations to be made in his name to BioBus (NYC) https://donate.biobus.org/give/378669/#!/donation/checkout, Summer Science Program (Cary, NC) https://summerscience.org/support/, or Society for Science and the Public (Wash.,DC) https://www.societyforscience.org/. He would be equally honored if you just plant a tree or feed the birds or send a child to STEM camp or donate to a local music program in his name.
And, any time you sit down with a glass of fine wine or a shot of Dewar’s and listen to some great jazz, you can be sure Kingsley Lawrence Greene is right there with you.