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Marie L. Greenwood Obituary

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Marie L. Greenwood

Denver, Colorado

November 24, 1912 - November 15, 2019

Marie L. Greenwood Obituary

Marie Louise Greenwood. Pathfinder. Educator. She was the first African-American Teacher to receive a permanent tenure in the Denver Public Schools. Author. Philanthropist. She was dedicated to her life’s work and committed to bringing out the excellence in others. Passed away peacefully on November 15, 2019. She was 106. November 24th was the day she was to turn 107. Greenwood is survived by her daughter and sons, Louise, William Jr., James, 6 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. At 106, her greatness in her life’s work is what has left lasting footprints in the hearts of hundreds of thousands. She has received countless recognitions, awards, and monumental achievements. In 1997, at 85, she received the University of Northern Colorado’s Trail Blazer Award. In 2001, at 89, the Marie L. Greenwood Academy, a K-8 Denver Public School, was honored in her name because of her pioneering and trailblazing efforts in public education. In January 2010, at 98, she received the Martin Luther King Trailblazer Award, honored by Representative Diana DeGette. In May 2010, later that year, the University of Northern Colorado honored her with the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. To continue her profound legacy, the Marie L. Greenwood Teacher Education Scholarship is now established at the University of Northern Colorado for students in the Teacher Education Program. In 2007, at 95, Marie added author to her accomplishments as she published her first book Every Child Can Learn, which encapsulated stories that impacted her 30 years of teaching the First Grade. In 2013, at 100, her autobiography entitled By the Grace of God was published. Greenwood was born in Los Angeles, California on November 24, 1912, the only daughter of Joseph and Sarah Anderson. She moved to Denver in 1925. She graduated from West Denver High School in 1931, third in her class of 257. She received an honorary four year scholarship to any state college or university and chose to attend Colorado Teachers College at Greeley (now UNC). Majored in Kindergarten Primary Education and minored in Physical Education, Arts and Science. She participated in all sports, lettered and became vice-president of the Women’s Athletic Association. She graduated in 1935 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1935, she was hired on contract as a first grade probationary teacher in the Denver Public Schools. In 1938, she was the first teacher of color to receive permanent tenure in DPS history and the door was opened for other minority teachers to be hired. She taught first grade for thirty years and retired in 1974. In 1943, she and William R. Greenwood were married. She continued to teach first grade at Whittier School until 1945 when she took maternity leave to have her daughter Louise. At the end of her leave, she resigned and stayed home for eight years to have her family - daughter and three sons - Richard, William Jr. and James. She enjoyed traveling with her family, camping from coast to coast, in Canada as well as Mexico. In later years, her joy of traveling continued with her husband to the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Europe and Africa. Greenwood led with a servant heart. She joined Shorter A.M.E. Church in 1927 and was an active member where she taught Sunday school, served when needed, read weekly to preschoolers, and sang in the choir. Her strength and perseverance throughout her life allowed her to be all that God had desired of her. Whether it was being a commencement speaker at the University of Northern Colorado, at a Martin Luther King Day Speech, or in more intimate settings like when she read books to her students during special library times. Greenwood had a way with connecting individually to every soul in the room. She captured each and every person. It was absolutely her story of strength, her perseverance, and her bravery as she led through racism, strongholds, and all that came with being the “first”. But even more so, It was her heart and her humble nature of navigating her every step in her life. Professionally, how she led her efforts to changing and impacting the lives of that first grade child, to that young and bright-eyed first year teacher, and to that tenured educator who needed their passion in teaching to be reignited. She was actively involvement in her church, sorority, community and countless organizations. She became a charter member of the Mountain and Plains Assembly #49 Order of the Golden Circle. Served as a past State Grand Loyal Lady Ruler of the Colorado State Assembly. Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated since 1932 and became a charter member of the Epsilon Nu Omega Chapter in 1949. Member of Coterie (study club) 1937-1949 and 1969-2019. It was through her works that she captured and impacted individuals in every meeting and event she was a part of. Her family. As a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She always found time to listen, to impact each life through her profound words of wisdom, providing special teaching moments, and most beautifully, in ways that were only unique and special to their hearts. This is Marie L. Greenwood. Her legacy and heartbeat will continue through the hearts she has forever impacted. As she mirrored her life through every child and person she strengthened in her life’s classroom, she has left the footprints and will forever be known as the epitome of strength and grace.

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Marie L. Greenwood hosted by Caldwell-Kirk Funeral & Cremation Services.

Marie Louise Greenwood. Pathfinder. Educator. She was the first African-American Teacher to receive a permanent tenure in the Denver Public Schools. Author. Philanthropist. She was dedicated to her life’s work and committed to bringing out the excellence in others. Passed away peacefully on November 15, 2019. She was 106. November 24th was the day she was to turn 107. Greenwood is survived by her daughter and sons, Louise, William Jr., James, 6 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. At 106, her greatness in her life’s work is what has left lasting footprints in the hearts of hundreds of thousands. She has received countless recognitions, awards, and monumental achievements. In 1997, at 85, she received the University of Northern Colorado’s Trail Blazer Award. In 2001, at 89, the Marie L. Greenwood Academy, a K-8 Denver Public School, was honored in her name because of her pioneering and trailblazing efforts in public education. In January 2010, at 98, she received the Martin Luther King Trailblazer Award, honored by Representative Diana DeGette. In May 2010, later that year, the University of Northern Colorado honored her with the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. To continue her profound legacy, the Marie L. Greenwood Teacher Education Scholarship is now established at the University of Northern Colorado for students in the Teacher Education Program. In 2007, at 95, Marie added author to her accomplishments as she published her first book Every Child Can Learn, which encapsulated stories that impacted her 30 years of teaching the First Grade. In 2013, at 100, her autobiography entitled By the Grace of God was published. Greenwood was born in Los Angeles, California on November 24, 1912, the only daughter of Joseph and Sarah Anderson. She moved to Denver in 1925. She graduated from West Denver High School in 1931, third in her class of 257. She received an honorary four year scholarship to any state college or university and chose to attend Colorado Teachers College at Greeley (now UNC). Majored in Kindergarten Primary Education and minored in Physical Education, Arts and Science. She participated in all sports, lettered and became vice-president of the Women’s Athletic Association. She graduated in 1935 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1935, she was hired on contract as a first grade probationary teacher in the Denver Public Schools. In 1938, she was the first teacher of color to receive permanent tenure in DPS history and the door was opened for other minority teachers to be hired. She taught first grade for thirty years and retired in 1974. In 1943, she and William R. Greenwood were married. She continued to teach first grade at Whittier School until 1945 when she took maternity leave to have her daughter Louise. At the end of her leave, she resigned and stayed home for eight years to have her family - daughter and three sons - Richard, William Jr. and James. She enjoyed traveling with her family, camping from coast to coast, in Canada as well as Mexico. In later years, her joy of traveling continued with her husband to the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Europe and Africa. Greenwood led with a servant heart. She joined Shorter A.M.E. Church in 1927 and was an active member where she taught Sunday school, served when needed, read weekly to preschoolers, and sang in the choir. Her strength and perseverance throughout her life allowed her to be all that God had desired of her. Whether it was being a commencement speaker at the University of Northern Colorado, at a Martin Luther King Day Speech, or in more intimate settings like when she read books to her students during special library times. Greenwood had a way with connecting individually to every soul in the room. She captured each and every person. It was absolutely her story of strength, her perseverance, and her bravery as she led through racism, strongholds, and all that came with being the “first”. But even more so, It was her heart and her humble nature of navigating her every step in her life. Professionally, how she led her efforts to changing and impacting the lives of that first grade child, to that young and bright-eyed first year teacher, and to that tenured educator who needed their passion in teaching to be reignited. She was actively involvement in her church, sorority, community and countless organizations. She became a charter member of the Mountain and Plains Assembly #49 Order of the Golden Circle. Served as a past State Grand Loyal Lady Ruler of the Colorado State Assembly. Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated since 1932 and became a charter member of the Epsilon Nu Omega Chapter in 1949. Member of Coterie (study club) 1937-1949 and 1969-2019. It was through her works that she captured and impacted individuals in every meeting and event she was a part of. Her family. As a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She always found time to listen, to impact each life through her profound words of wisdom, providing special teaching moments, and most beautifully, in ways that were only unique and special to their hearts. This is Marie L. Greenwood. Her legacy and heartbeat will continue through the hearts she has forever impacted. As she mirrored her life through every child and person she strengthened in her life’s classroom, she has left the footprints and will forever be known as the epitome of strength and grace.

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Marie L. Greenwood hosted by Caldwell-Kirk Funeral & Cremation Services.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Marie L. Greenwood.