Harriet Green; fought for social change

Posted: July 22, 2014

Harriet Jane Green, 73, of Philadelphia, who worked behind the scenes to bring about social change by connecting her vast array of friends and acquaintances, died Friday, July 18, of multiple myeloma at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse.

Ms. Green stopped all medical treatment July 10, telling family members and her doctor that she wanted to "sail the ocean blue."

While Ms. Green's occupation was selling alternate energy sources to area homes, schools, and businesses, her passion was fighting for social and political change at the local level.

Ms. Green championed those who did not get a good start in life. She worked to free inmates she believed were wrongly incarcerated and pushed to make sure children in the inner city received a meaningful education.

"Jane had a powerful political consciousness and played an active role in supporting political candidates whom she believed would be the most authentically effective," said her daughter Caroline Kries.

Ms. Green was a powerful networker, determined to bring together those who could provide help with others who needed it, Kries said.

Born in the Queens borough of New York City, she graduated from the Laurelton, N.Y., public schools, and took courses at Syracuse University and the University of Pennsylvania. She held a real estate license but did not register with an agency; she wrote books for children and adults, all unpublished.

"Mother had this fast-moving brain. I don't think she could keep up with herself," Kries said. "She left everything unfinished except for the connections between people."

Ms. Green was a lover of nature and protector of the environment. She played the piano and read widely, often writing her thoughts in the margins of books.

She married James S. Kries. The two had three daughters before divorcing. He survives.

Her second husband was Irvin Green, an automobile dealer and business analyst, who died several years ago..

Ms. Green lived in Margate, N.J., before moving to Center City.

Surviving, in addition to her daughter, are daughters Jennifer Kries and Elizabeth Chiaravalli; five grandchildren; and two brothers.

An open house to celebrate Ms. Green's life will be held from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, at the Pavilion Building of Community College of Philadelphia, 17th Street and Spring Garden Avenue. Burial was private.

Donations may be made to the Philadelphia Montessori Charter School, 2227 Island Ave., Philadelphia 19142.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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