A Loving Tribute

Byron & Martha Green

Written by Christy Whitney Borchard


A special tribute to my parents . . .

I chose to honor my parents together, who made their journey to heaven six years apart because they lived truly “as one person” in their 70 years of marriage. They used to laugh that they each had hyphenated names “Byron-Martha”. I chose a golf course as a background as they shared a love of golf. Dad scoring 90 at 90.

They grew up twenty minutes apart and met in college during World War II. My Mother was a ballerina and an English major. My Dad headed to business and eventually became one of the longest employees of IBM, having joined when they were only making manual typewriters and retiring in the world of PCs.

My parents were a blessing to everyone they met, but none perhaps more than me, as they adopted me when I was 4 months old. How fortunate I was that they “chose me.”

My mother led her life as God’s instrument in every way. She was a natural leader and served as the president of every club or endeavor she belonged to and was active in the Woman’s Club of Frankfort, Kentucky in her later years. She taught Sunday School. She served as a church elder, and was one of those people who brought communion to shut-ins every week.

She was an exercise devotee. She swam five days a week at the local YMCA for over 25 years with my Dad—he said she made him. And she loved children. She taught nursery school and, when retired, held “high teas” for the children in the neighborhood. She could still sit on the floor at 90 and play dolls with my granddaughter KK who became her best friend.

Dad was one of ten kids and the second oldest. He was the son of a teacher who graduated from college in 1913—pretty unusual. I have yet to meet another person who had a smile as quick as his, or anyone else whose face lit up more when around the people he love. On his face in this picture, you can see it when he was dancing at a family wedding at 90 with my mom. He had four brothers and they were all good football players—legends in Shelbyville, Kentucky. He jumped rope in the basement every morning at five a.m. when I was growing up. He had a favorite expression…“hell fire!” He received those words embroidered on a hat when he retired from IBM.

Pages more could be written about these two amazing people who exemplified love in the world, who never let life get them down, who rose above every challenge, and who found time in every day to focus on the most important thing, love.

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