Carol (Bush) Green ’71

19 August 2004

Class: 1971

Major: Sociology/Anthropology, Japanese

Deceased: July 17, 2004

Alumni survivors: Mr. Craig N. Green ’71 W71 (Former Spouse), Robert Lott Lee, Ph.D. ’71 (Step-sibling)

Carol graduated Japan’s Canadian Academy in 1967, and began classes at Carleton College in the fall.

She met Craig Green in fall of 1968, and by spring, both concluded they wanted to get married after graduation.  However, Carol’s Dad died suddenly of a heart attack on July 4, 1969.  Carol and Craig decide life can be short – why wait to get married?  A small wedding took place on August 23, 1969.

Because Carleton was (is) a small, residential school without married student housing, it had a policy that only one member of a marriage could attend at the same time.  As a result, Carol dropped out and worked the fall quarter at a store in town.

Craig’s Mother (Helen Bennett Green) was a Carleton graduate (1940), as well as his Grandmother (Ida Norton Bennett – 1909).  The lobbying effort with the school administration and the Board of Trustees for a rule change began in earnest, and Craig and Carol were the first married couple (known to the administration) to both attend Carleton since WWII when Carol resumed classes January 1970.  She caught up to graduate with everyone else in June 1971.

The next two years were spent on the South side of Chicago at the University of Chicago while Carol got a Masters in Japanese Language and Literature and Craig got a MBA.  Carol’s scholarship and stipend provided living expenses for the second year.

Following graduation, Craig began an almost 30-year career with Ford Motor Company in the Detroit area.  In 1973, Detroit had little concern/care about impacts of the Japanese auto industry, and the only use for her MA in Japanese was as a secretary.  Carol passed.

She started volunteer work (a recurring theme!) at a Catholic residential school for troubled girls (most referred there by the court system).  She ended up becoming a paid staffer, and the position led Carol to getting a second masters – this time a Masters in Social Work from U. of Michigan.

In 1978, Brian Bush Green came into the world, and Carol started working admin in a local school district.  After Erin Corey Green was born in 1980, Carol took several years off to be with the kids.  Following Brian’s start of full-time school in 1982, Carol returned to the school district where her boss strongly encouraged her to get a PhD in Education.

She had completed almost all the classwork at U of M toward the degree when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 1987.  After surgery and chemo, Carol concluded a PhD in Education would primarily be of use in only administration and dropped the program.

Both Brian and Erin were attending a small, non-profit K-8 school (a total of 19 years combined) where Carol took a volunteer position as Development Director.  Over time, it became a paid position (2-1/2 days out of the five worked) she held until moving to NC in October 2003.

In 1996, Carol developed cancer is the other breast (different form, not a recurrence) that she attacked aggressively with surgery, chemo, and radiation.  Her recovery was so complete, she competed in the Honolulu Marathon for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society in 1998 and again for them in Bermuda in 2000.

In what was expected to be the five-year “clean bill of health” appointment in 2001, it was discovered the cancer had returned – again treated aggressively.

Carol recovered enough to compete in the Dublin Marathon (along with Erin) in October 2001.  It was an interesting time to travel following September 11.

Her health continued to deteriorate (including lymphedema) and chemo continued.

Craig was offered a package from Ford and retired in February 2002 to be able to spend more time with Carol.  The plan had always been to retire to the mountains of NC (west of Asheville), and both moved down in October 2003 to a newly built home next to Carol’s sister Laura.

Following acceptance to an experimental drug program at Duke, her health continued to decline, and she passed away in July 2004 surrounded by Craig, Brian, Erin, and her sister Laura.

Fortunately, most of her 17-year battle with breast cancer left her in good enough health to enjoy life, her family, and friends.

Carol was one of the first people that I met at Carleton.  I arrived late on a Sunday afternoon in the fall of 1967.  Soon my two roommates, Sue Anderson and Kate Robinson, appeared plus two other classmates, Jane Willard and Carol Bush.  We all remained friends throughout our time at Carleton and after, exchanging Christmas cards and seeing each other when visiting in Minneapolis.

In the spring of 1999, the five ladies decided that we should all get together for a mini reunion at Ray’s and my cabin in northwestern Wisconsin.  We had a wonderful weekend, just the five of us.  Carol’s son, Brian, was a junior at Kalamazoo College in Michigan.  Her daughter Erin was planning to transfer to Kalamazoo from Alma College the following fall.  Langdon, Ray’s and my son, was a high school senior and had chosen Kalamazoo as his college.  The next October Ray and I went to parents’ weekend at Kalamazoo.  We arranged to meet up with Carol and Craig and their kids.  We had a nice meal together and had a wonderful photo opportunity of our Carleton-Kalamazoo connection.   We miss Carol’s smiling face.  She is a great inspiration to those of us diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Elsie Myers Martin ’71

Greens and Martins 


  • 2021-04-19 10:31:16
    Matt Aizawa

    Craig was my roommate in 1969 and so was Carol. I think we were the first to establish coed dorm at Carl back in the days before coed dorms were formally acknowledged. The setting sun was more bloody orange then, the morning sun more piercing without coffee, but breakfast at Burton was something best not experienced. I met Carol and Craig later in Tokyo. Wonderful couple. Great memories.

Add a comment