Remembrances of Nancy Green
“Nancy and I were first cousins, childhood play mates and friends. She lived in the Berea community and I in Ethel. I loved her and will miss her very much. She was consistently strong in character, unbending in her commitments and faithful to her family and friends. She was quiet, unassuming, brave, determined, gifted, loving, kind, dependable, committed to God, her family, friends and her work. She loved being at home and she loved her cats. I am better for having known her and the world is a better place because she was here.
— Charlie Long
“Nancy was one of my dearest friends. We shared so many good times. For many years, four of us ladies have gone to Orange Beach every September on vacation. We were always excited, and, of course, Nancy made that wonderful peanut brittle.
She has gone with me to doctor appointments; we have shopped, shared many meals and played a lot of dominoes with our church group and our group of six widows. We sat together in church and did many things together.
We had no idea that last Wednesday as we boarded the bus to go on our trip, that Nancy would not come home with us. It is hard to believe she is gone. I loved her dearly and will miss her so much.”
— Helen Kyle
“I am so thankful to have had the opportunity of having been Mrs. Nancy Green’s pastor for the past 23 years. I always found her to be a faithful saint of the Lord Jesus Christ, with a faith grounded in the precious promises of God’s Word. I have witnessed a Christian lady who possessed the assurance that Jesus had saved her, that He would walk with her through this ole world and bring her home safely, right into Heaven. In her life she received many wonderful blessings and honors with her work at The Star Herald. She received them humbly and then quietly returned to the next edition of the paper. She served our Church as a humble servant of our Lord Jesus without ever a word of credit or glory having to come her way. Mrs. Nancy also handled with God’s power the tragedies of storms in life and she as God’s servant handled them by trusting God, and He brought her victoriously through with an inward peace and strength that surpassed all understanding. What a joy it has been to have witnessed Mrs. Nancy living out her faith publicly day by day through her church family here at First Baptist and as she lived her life as a servant for our Lord Jesus here in Kosciusko and Attala County. We have all been blessed and can say, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15. I believe she received upon her entrance into Heaven, God’s word of, “Well done thy good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:23. All of our lives are better today and blessed tremendously for having known and having the opportunity to share in the life of Mrs. Nancy Seawright Green.
— Barry C. Corbett, pastor
First Baptist Church Kosciusko
“Nancy has been an integral part of The Star-Herald and the lives of many Attala County friends for 64 years. Her first title could have been "Miss Star Herald" and then "Mrs. Star Herald." Through the year,s she has been a treasured part of my life. During my KHS days when I was advisor of the KOS-Z-HI DAZE, working together on the “History Of First Baptist Church, Kosciusko, Mississippi 1848 - 1998,” playing Mexican train dominoes on Friday nights and many more countless hours — all wonderful memories. In Bro. Barry's tribute to Nancy Saturday morning during the celebration of her life he said, "Don't we wish there could be a story written by Nancy Green in this week's Star-Herald telling us what Heaven is like." To know Nancy was to love her. In life there are "friends" and there are "dear friends." Nancy was a “dear friend.”
— Anne Hughes Porter
“On behalf of the citizens of Kosciusko, we extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Ms. Nancy Green.
Ms. Nancy, as we all call her around City Hall, was a true gem to this community and her quiet spirit and intelligence will be greatly missed.
Since being elected in 1993, I have seen many people come and go from The Star-Herald newspaper, but you could always count on the stability of one person, Ms. Nancy Green. Her knowledge of what was happening in Kosciusko and Attala County was always right on target, even if she acted like she didn’t know. I will always be grateful to her for her help in making sure what I said in the paper sounded better than what I actually said. She was a true southern lady whom I greatly admired and I will cherish the memories I have of working with her all these years.
— Kosciusko Mayor Jimmy Cockroft
“I saw Nancy Green by chance at a restaurant in Kosciusko about a month ago. I was in town, mainly out in the county, tending to some family farm business. I may have seen her once since I was editor of The Star-Herald back in the '90s. She had not changed much at all. Evidently, I had. I walked up to her and said, "Nancy Green." She stared at me. I said, "We worked together at The Star-Herald. "Jack Weatherly!" she exclaimed in her quiet ladylike way.
She looked good. As healthy looking as an octogenarian can.
Now, suddenly, as I hear it, she's gone, and with her is a wealth of community knowledge.
She knew all those "correspondents," as we called them reporting on family news from Possumneck, McCool, Ethel, Carmack, Zama and so on.
She knew the people. She knew the history. And so she concentrated on such news. The softer side of life. The thing that makes country living so appealing, moreso every day.
I gather she had to do some "hard news" in recent years.
A stalwart, she was willing to do what she had to do in that quiet, polite Attala County way. After all, you were liable to run into that person you were writing about at the grocery store or the bank.
It is an acquired skill for those who come from "outside," but it seemed so natural for Miss Nancy.
— Jack Weatherly, editor of
The Star-Herald from 1990-1996.
“My first memory of Nancy was at my birthday party when we were little girls. We both wore our hair in pigtails and Nancy was wearing a beautiful silk dress.
The years passed and we saw each other often at our church and community events. Nancy was a familiar face with her camera and notepad in her hand. Everyone loved Nancy!
After both became widows, our friendship deepened. We shared a fondness for cats. I grieved with her at the passing of her beloved cat, Sally.
Six ladies, all widows, formed a game club and spent may happy, fun evenings playing Mexican train and other games.
My dear friend Nancy was a true Southern Belle. She faced life with face and grace. She was the bravest lady I have ever known, and I will always miss her.
— Doris Hood Belk
“She was a true newspaper person. On our many travels, she always found a local newspaper to read.
We (her travel mates) would ask what was going to be in The Star-Herald that week, and her comment was always, “Wait until you get home and buy a paper!”
There a probably not many people in our county that she had not touched through her work and her community involvement.
— Elsie McLemore
“Nancy was the epitome of a newspaper reporter. She did not try to ‘make’ the news nor slant the news; she reported the news. She reflected her Christian values in a quiet, unassuming way as she encouraged others, sharing the happy times and the not-so-happy times with friends and family. Nancy will be greatly missed at church, at the newspaper, and by her many friends.”
— Jeannette Alexander
“My office was right by the bathroom, so I saw the tears as Miss. Nancy ducked in there at least once a week during my second stint at The Star-Herald, from 2002-07. The public didn’t see that, though. She would wash her face and get back to work, and when the next visitor walked in the office, she would offer that warm, welcoming smile … even if it was another well-meaning acquaintance who was going to ask the inevitable question: “Has there been any news about Charles?”
My first inclination is to refer to Mrs. Nancy as the quintessential “steel magnolia.” That’s what we call any Southern lady who has shown strength and resolve. But she was more impressive than that. Mrs. Nancy was a “golden rose,” because she can only be compared to a metal that’s precious and pliable, and to a flower that’s a perennial and retains its beauty year after year, no matter what it’s been exposed to.
Her loyalty and work ethic, personally and professionally, are things that are rarely seen these days. She was married to Charles for 42 years and worked at The Star-Herald for 64 years. She adjusted as life changed abruptly and tragically and as the job changed by leaps and bounds technologically.
Think about this: It’s possible that she wrote the news of some residents’ birth, listed them on honor rolls all through elementary, junior high and high school, then wrote about their academic honors in college, their hiring at a company, their wedding, then their retirement ceremony. In between those last two events, she would have their children’s birth announcements, their children’s academic honors, their children’s engagement and wedding announcements, then the cycle continued …
She wrote almost every obituary that appeared in this paper for at least two generations. She could do this one better than the team of seasoned journalists who are desperately trying to capture her value to this paper and community with our words. She had a sense of history that’s almost non-existent in media at any level today. No amount of money could hire someone to replace her. One can’t purchase institutional knowledge, experience or a place in the community.
Mrs. Nancy had all of those, and then some. When I came to work at The Star-Herald the first time, in January 1993, and was trying to learn the names of movers-and-shakers in the community, co-worker Jenny Simpson gave me this advice: “If Mrs. Nancy doesn’t know them, you don’t need to know them.”
I can’t remember how many times Mrs. Nancy read a story I’d done and corrected the spelling of a name or their title, or any other incorrect reference that would show the readers I was an outsider.
People here knew her from covering their school events and community events. They invited her into their homes to let her tell their stories to all of the subscribers who invited Mrs. Nancy into their homes once a week. It’s a privilege all of us in this profession share. But sometimes, with some subjects, it can be a chore … and that’s where a side of Mrs. Nancy came out that most people didn’t get to see.
She had a biting wit — never malicious, but ever-present — and her ability to mimic some people was as hilarious as it was unexpected. (I won’t be specific because too many victims of her best impressions will be reading this.) When I or someone else would say something that almost crossed the line, she would still giggle, then make a high-pitched, “Ooooooooooo … well, bless goodness.”
That was her go-to phrase for when she was rendered speechless, “Bless goodness.” I was one of the many people blessed by her goodness over the decades.
I last visited with her a couple of years ago and our last phone conversation was a year or so ago. She knew how much she meant to me, but I’d do anything for one more conversation. It never seemed like there was any need to rush to see her, though. She didn’t age a bit. The last time I saw her, she looked exactly the same as she did that day I met her in the newsroom more than 26 years ago.
All of her life, she heard people refer to those “beautiful Green girls,” and her response was always the same: “I think the boy’s pretty good-looking, too.” When she married Charles, she became a Green girl, too, and that was appropriate because she fit the description. She was beautiful, inside and out.
That last visit, we sat in her living room and talked about work and life. We laughed about old times and characters we had in common. We talked about her escapades with cats, and I got her to tell me again about the time Charles went out in the middle of the night running around the house in his underwear to break up a fight.
We cried a little, too. She told me how much she appreciated her group of Sunday school friends with whom she had started traveling and doing other regular activities. But no one could fill the void that was left in her life when Charles was no longer there. I remember her saying that she did feel some sort of closure the day his killer was finally convicted, but she didn’t feel what she longed for most: “I just miss his touch,” she said, her voice cracking with a pain and sorrow that didn’t go away until last week.
Charles’ murder remained a mystery for the five years I was at The Star-Herald. But there is no mystery when it comes to Nancy Green’s whereabouts these days. She is hand-in-hand with Charles in heaven, enjoying his touch once again. Bless goodness, Mrs. Nancy.
— Mark Thornton, Star-Herald sports editor
in the early 1990s and editor and publisher 2002-2007
“Miss Nancy and the Green family adopted me when I lived there in Kosciusko as a first-time managing editor. I couldn't have worked with a more caring woman than Miss Nancy. And, she taught me far more about the newspaper business than anyone before or since. I will never forget the special times we shared...and Sunday dinners with the Greens.”
— Jenny Humphreys Gaines, managing editor
of The Star-Herald from 1998-1999
“I consider Nancy one of my best friends through association with her at The Star-Herald for 21 years. Even after I left The Star-Herald to work in Jackson we were close and last Christmas when I spent a week at President's Inn, she visited me. Jan, Nancy and I had been to lunch the day before. My heart aches for the loss of Nancy.”
— Eloise Nowell, a former co-worker
“In every community organization I was in, we could count on Miss Nancy to give us the best publicity. We would just be the envy of other groups. The charter members of Junior Auxiliary made her an associate member for all she did. She was so kind and so sweet. She was special.”
— BJ Swafford, Sunday school classmate
“Nancy Green was a classy, Christian lady; a talented, resourceful writer and a friend to many. Having written the DAR monthly articles for The Star Herald for nearly 20 years, our association became quite close. I appreciated her helpfulness and gentle spirit. I loved her.”
— Mrs. George Ellen Chandler
“Nancy Green became my friend in the fall of 1970 when I moved to Kosciusko as a bride and second grade teacher. I met her when I entered The Star Herald office to subscribe to the newspaper. She greeted me with a sweet smile and gentle voice. Nancy made me feel very welcome to Kosciusko and told me about shops, offices and places to see in town.
Several years later Nancy was a mentor to me when I served as publicity chairman for Kosciusko Junior Auxiliary. She came every time I called her to take pictures of our projects, and then edited the articles that I wrote about them.
She gently gave me suggestions in every part of our city and covered events all around the town. She came to school to take pictures of school plays, science fairs, fueled day activities, classroom projects and award ceremonies.
Nancy spent untold hours at all of the events during the Polish-American Heritage Celebration in 1981. She kept her camera and notebook always ready to record “Kodak moments” and comments.
To me, Nancy was always the genteel southern lady. I never remember seeing her frustrated, aggravated or unkind to anyone. She was a friend to many and loved by all who knew her. I cherish my memories of her.”
— Sue Dorrill
“In 1990 Bubba Pettit and I bought the old J. D. Musselwhite place in the Carmack community of Attala County. A two-story, 12-room wood frame house, built in the early 1900s, was on the property until it burned in the early 1960s.
I looked for years for a photograph of the old house, without success. Then one day I talk with T. A. Armstrong, who had lived in the house as a teenager.
He did not know anyone who had a photograph of the house, but a few days later, he came by my office with and exact replica of the old house. He had built it for me in the back of his pickup truck. I called Nancy and told her that I thought I had a story for her, and she immediately agreed.
Nancy met Mr. Armstrong and me on a beautiful spring day at the old Musselwhite place and spent two hours examining the house that Mr. Armstrong had built, listening to stories about growing up on the place, about the house, the barn, the two wells and the flowers that grew every year in the yard of the old house.
Nancy then inspected the debris of the old house that was still on the site, the barn, the wells and the flowers, which were then in full bloom. She took pictures as she went. Before she left, she cut some yellow jonquils to take home with her that night.
The article that she wrote was published on March 24, 2011, and filled the entire page one of the C section.
I have kept a copy of the article at the Musselwhite place ever since for myself, for visitors and for my children and grandchildren.
I will always cherish my memories of her that day, of her genuine interest in our story, her questions, her gentle smiles…and of her cutting a few flowers before she left.”
— George Dorrill
“About two years ago, I became Nancy’s Sunday School teacher. As a member of my class, I saw a quiet, kind lady that came with a smile on her face. Through the years, Nancy interviewed me once about the Nativity sets from around the world in the Welcome Center of our church, First Baptist. She also interviewed my daughter and grandson when he was young and had been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. He was involved with horse shows and rodeos. Both times I again saw a kind, quite lady doing her job efficiently. Nancy will surely be missed.”
— Ina Rigby