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Bar News - November 9, 2007

In Memoriam

William S. Green

William S. Green, prominent lawyer and civic figure in Manchester, NH for over half a century, succumbed on October 22, 2007, to complications from Parkinson’s disease.  He was 89 years old.


Green, President Emeritus of Sheehan, Phinney, Bass + Green, one of New Hampshire’s leading law firms, played a significant role in many of the major legal and business events that shaped Manchester and New Hampshire during the second half of the twentieth century.


Born on December 21, 1917, in Presque Isle, Maine, the only child of Sol and Julia Green, William Segal Green grew up in Manchester, graduating from Manchester Central High School in 1935.  After attending St. Anselm College, Green attended Dartmouth College from which he graduated in 1939.  Green subsequently attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1947.  Green interrupted his law school studies after Pearl Harbor to enlist in the United States Marine Corps.  Assigned to the Pacific theater, he participated in the invasion of the Marshall Islands and served at the Palmyra Island Naval Air Station, attaining the rank of Major.


Upon his graduation from law school, Green returned to New Hampshire. After a brief initial period in private practice with the law firm of Orr & Reno in Concord, Green was appointed Assistant Attorney General of New Hampshire in 1949, and then was appointed the state’s first Deputy Attorney General when the position was created in 1950.


Green returned to Manchester in 1952 to join the Sheehan, Phinney firm.  Over the next 48 years, during the course of a distinguished career in both courtroom and boardroom, Green, who came to number many of New Hampshire’s most prominent businesses and public institutions among his clients, worked tirelessly to build Sheehan, Phinney, Bass + Green into the legal powerhouse that it is today.  


In addition to his professional pursuits, Green unstintingly deadicated himself to serving his community and his state, assuming leadership roles in a broad range of Manchester’s civic, educational, medical and religious institutions.  He served on the NH Legislative Council, as a member of the New Hampshire State Ballot Law Commission, as Chairman of the NH State Board of Education, and as a member of the NH State Post-Secondary Education Commission.


Green also served as President and Capital Campaign Chairman of the Elliott Hospital in Manchester, of which he was a trustee for 35 years.  In 2000, the hospital recognized Green’s service, creating the William S. Green Award for Excellence, and making him its first recipient.


He also served as President of the Jewish Community Center in Manchester, and President of Manchester’s Temple Adath Yeshurun.


In 1960, he was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce.


Green served as President and Campaign Chairman for the United Way of Greater Manchester.  In 1991, in recognition of his contributions, that organization established the William S. Green Lifetime Achievement Award to be awarded to deserving recipients. In the same year, he was the New Hampshire honoree of the “Leadership in Philanthropy” award given by the sponsoring organizations for the Northern New England Partners in Philanthropy Conference. In 1997, Green received the NH Community Leadership Award of the New England Region of the Anti-Defamation League.


Green was a Trustee of New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University), and, from 1986 to 1987, served as the college’s Acting Chancellor.  Green served as a director of the New England Circle, as a member of the NH Business Roundtable on Education, as a trustee of the Manchester Historic Association and as a trustee of Leadership New Hampshire.


In addition to numerous other awards in testimony of his philanthropic service, Green received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from New Hampshire College, St. Anselm College, Franklin Pierce College, Notre Dame College, and Southern New Hampshire University.


He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joan (Jacobson), three children, Dr. William Scott Green, Senior Vice Provost, University of Miami, Nancy E. Green, a clinical social worker in Brookline, Massachusetts, Richard S. Green, a lawyer in New York City, and four grandchildren.


Memorial contributions may be made to:

William S. Green Scholarship Fund

Southern New Hampshire University

Office of Institutional Advancement

2500 North River Road

Manchester, NH 03106-1045

or to

Hospice of Naples, Inc.

1095 Whippoorwill Lane

Naples, FL 34105


On behalf of our colleague William S. Green, the New Hampshire Bar Association’s  Board of Governors has contributed to the New Hampshire Bar Foundation, 2 Pillsbury Street, Concord, NH 03301.




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