Ethel Greene April 20, 1929 - November 14, 2020

Ethel Greene, age 91, died on Saturday, 14 November, 2020, at 8:23 a.m., at Advent Health in Fletcher, North Carolina.

Born Ethel Rothman on 20 April, 1929, in New York City, to Bessarabian immigrant parents Solomon and Jennifer Rothman, Ethel was the youngest of their five children: Lillian, Rebecca, Lee, Harold, and Ethel. The family lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.

Ethel married Burton Greene on 29 May, 1950, and the couple lived first in Queens, NY, and later in North Woodmere, NY, a suburb. They had two children, Gary, born in 1951, and Robin, born in 1955.

Ethel, who briefly attended Brooklyn College after high school, returned to college in the early 1970s as one of the first adult students and graduated from Nassau Community College with an A.A. degree in Psychology, from Queens College with a B.A. degree in Psychology, and from Fordham University with a M.S.W. degree in the Clinical Social Work track. After graduating, she worked for more than a decade as a psychotherapist at Jewish Community Services in Queens, NY.

In 1986, her husband, Burton, retired from a long career in the furniture and drapery business, and the couple moved to south Florida, where they lived together until his death from Parkinson’s Disease in 2009. Ethel then lived with her extended family—son, Gary Greene, his wife, Faye Greene, and their daughters, Jennifer and Sarah. When Gary died in 2014 from colon and liver cancer, Ethel continued to live with the family until December 2018, when at age 89, she moved to Fayetteville, NC, to be near her daughter Robin Greene and son-in-law Michael Colonnese.

Ethel lived independently in Fayetteville with her two dogs, joined two bridge communities, forged a new close friendship with Pat Crowson, and led an active life until she was hospitalized in February 2020 and moved to Whispering Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Fayetteville. Confined to the premises by the COVID pandemic, Ethel found companionship with another new friend Gloria, a fellow nursing home resident, and with members of the nursing home staff. On sunny days, she always spent a few hours outside, enjoying the fresh air in the facility’s courtyard, and she read books on her iPad, technology which it was her goal to master.

Most recently, on 10 November 2020, Ethel joined her daughter Robin and son-in-law Michael to live near their new home in Hendersonville, NC, at Universal Health Care in Fletcher, NC. She lived there two days before contracting the bacterial pneumonia that took her life.

Ethel is survived by her brother Harold Rothman, daughter Robin Greene, son-in-law Michael Colonnese, daughter-in-law Faye Greene, grandsons Daniel Colonnese and Benjamin Greene-Colonnese, granddaughters Jennifer Greene and Sarah Greene, granddaughters-in-law Jennifer Britton-Colonnese and Jenna Colonnese, and great-grandchildren Lillian Colonnese, Mariah Greene, and Mitchell Greene.

Leave a Condolence


  1. Ruth Kravitz says

    Dear Robin,
    It was a pleasure to have your mom here in NC for this last phase of her life. I enjoyed taking her out for lunch and errands until COVID made that impossible. I missed her warm hugs but could still make her laugh on the phone—we had some fun.
    You took really good care of Ethyl and I honor you for that. I don’t think she would have lived as long without your work on her behalf and the daily attention you provided. Well done!