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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: January 19, 2012

Dr. Gary S. Greene

How do you say “goodbye” to a person you have known for 57 years? My good friend and colleague Gary passed away last week. His passing is a great loss to me and to the world.

We met as entering freshmen in New York University College of Dentistry in 1955. They seated you and called your name in alphabetical order. He was Greene and I was Greenberg and so we spent four years of dental school side by side.

Gary was neat and self-contained but I was a “wild one” from the Bronx. We got on famously. In his sophomore year Gary married a dark, long-haired, vivacious beauty named Sue. I was an usher at the wedding at the Diplomat Hotel (now extinct).

After Dental School in 1959, Gary and Sue went to Japan in the U.S. Air Force. I visited them when I went to Korea. I slept overnight in their cozy home on the air base and the next day Sue and I made chopped liver. We were both officers and we left the services as captains with a double bar on our shoulders.

While in Japan, Sue gave birth to Marjorie. She has grown into a beautiful, intelligent woman who now has two gorgeous daughters of her own, Ally and Jenna.

Civilian life beckoned and Gary eventually practiced in Astoria, Queens. Both Gary and Sue were a boon to their new neighborhood. Sue was an accomplished dental hygienist in Gary’s budding dental practice. They were a dynamite team. Gary was a fine dentist and he drew the admiration of his dental colleagues. Eventually they bought a corner house in Jericho and raised three children, Marjorie, Jeffrey and Richard, all schooled in the Jericho system. Barbecues and swimming in their pool was heavenly. Jeffrey is the father of three and Richard has two sons.

Lorriane and I also moved to Jericho and the four of us traveled around the world together. We went to Israel, Italy, Branson, Missouri, up and down the Mississippi River on the Delta Queen, New Orleans, California, Yosemite, Mt. Rushmore, Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, Scotland, Jamaica, BWI, and the Dominican Republic together. Never a fight or a bad word in our foursome.

Gary became ill with cancer about eight months ago, He fought valiantly but the disease won out eventually.

The three children eulogized their loving father, tearfully. Not a dry eye in the house. Gary left a large and loyal group of patients and sincere classmates and friends and relatives.

I will miss my lifelong buddy and the drinks we had together all over the world.

So long, old buddy!