David C. Green

February 14, 2021

David C. Green, 87, passed away peacefully in his sleep Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. He had been in declining health after contracting a rare blood infection last fall. A son of the Steel Valley and a passionate Pittsburgher, Dave's professional and personal pursuits had a profound impact on the community he loved. With his career peaking as Pittsburgh's economy was downsizing, Dave used his communication and leadership skills to support the health and vitality of its civic and cultural institutions. While others fled, he doubled down, planting seeds that have blossomed into a revitalized city. Dave was born May 3, 1933, in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Hays, on the Monongahela River, to David William Green and the former Elizabeth Schreiber Green. He graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School in 1950, then attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he majored in political science and graduated in 1954. He served as news editor of the Pitt News, was an active member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and participated in Air Force ROTC. At Pitt, he also met Nancy Cook, another reporter on the paper, whom he married April 2, 1955. Dave and Nancy began their married life in Sherman, Texas, where Dave fulfilled his ROTC obligation at the Perrin Air Force base. After his service, they returned to their beloved Pittsburgh and settled in Mt. Lebanon, where they would raise their family. Dave joined the corporate communications staff of Joy Manufacturing, decamping for PPG Industries in 1963 as assistant advertising manager of the chemical division. He was promoted to advertising manager in 1968, then managed corporate advertising and design services. His final communications position at PPG was leading public and investor relations. Dave was a major force in the Pittsburgh advertising and communications community during his time at PPG, serving as president of the Pittsburgh Advertising Club in 1976-77, and president of the International Business and Professional Advertising Association (now Business Marketing Association) in 1977-78. He was awarded the BMA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997 just prior to his retirement. Dave enjoyed a memorable career detour in 1972, taking a brief leave of absence from PPG when his Sigma Chi brother and lifelong friend Bud Shuster asked him to manage communications for his initial congressional campaign. Dave jumped at the opportunity to combine his political science training with his communication skills to support his old friend. With Dave's help, Shuster won the hard-fought primary against a popular state representative, and went on to represent Pennsylvania's 9th District for 28 years. In another providential detour combining Dave's communication skills with his Pittsburgh pride, he served as assistant to the chairman and executive director of the PPG Industries Foundation in the mid-1980s. Dave relished this philanthropic leadership role, recognizing the opportunity to leverage PPG's position as one of Pittsburgh's leading corporate citizens to promote coordinated action to rejuvenate the region. Even after his retirement, Dave retained board leadership roles in civic institutions such as the Senator John Heinz History Center and the Mon Valley Initiative, which was instrumental in providing economic revitalization to the region after the devastation caused by the closure of the mills. Dave was recognized as a "Significant Sig" in 2005, an honor reserved for those few "whose exemplary achievements in their fields of endeavor have brought great honor and prestige to the name of Sigma Chi." Dave's leadership extended to volunteer service as well. He credited the Boy Scouts with introducing him to a broader world than the small community where he grew up, and paid it forward by leading Mt. Lebanon's Troop 28 from 1974 through 1986. In recognition of his outsized impact, a leadership award in his honor was created upon his retirement from the troop. He continued to serve scouting at a regional level, having joined the board of the Pittsburgh Council in 1983, and after a restructuring became a member of the Laurel Highland Council's Leadership Board. He recently served as the chair of the Endowment Committee and a member of the Governance Committee. He was particularly proud of the legacy he helped create in developing Camp Independence at Heritage Scout Reservation. Dave was a person of deep faith. He found his spiritual home at the Bower Hill Community Church, which he and Nancy joined in 1964 after being inspired by the social justice activism of the Rev. William Barker. Dave was an integral member of the church community, serving as an elder for many years and chairing a multitude of committees. He was actively involved in the Presbyterian Church at the regional level as well, ultimately serving as moderator of Pittsburgh Presbytery in 2007, the highest office available to a layperson. Dave lived each day to the fullest, and was committed to the excellence and continued success of the organizations that enriched his life. He was an avid sailor, winning many racing cups from the Moraine Sailing Club and serving in various leadership capacities. He downshifted to golf in his later years, recently serving as president of the Mt. Lebanon Senior Golf Association. He was also an avid consumer of the arts, especially music and theater, and maintained season subscriptions to the Pittsburgh Symphony and Pittsburgh Opera. He loved to travel and he and Nancy enjoyed many international tours and cruises after retirement, but never wanted to live anywhere other than Pittsburgh. In addition to his beloved wife of 65 years, Dave is survived by his brother, Frank Green, and sister-in-law, Jan Green; daughter, Cathy Solomon, and son, Tom Green; son-in-law, Bob Solomon, and daughter-in-law, Lori Green; and grandchildren, Amy Solomon, Julie Solomon, Mark Green and Eric Green, all of whom can attest to Dave's readiness to share his encyclopedic knowledge of political history, go for a ride on the incline or teach them how to tie just the right knot. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to University of Pittsburgh Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences; Bower Hill Community Church; or the Laurel Highlands Council, Boy Scouts of America (attention Jerome Gaughan, Chief Development Officer, 1275 Bedford Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15219). A memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are entrusted to WILLIAM SLATER II FUNERAL SERVICE, Scott Township, 412-563-2800, www.slaterfuneral.com.
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