Letha "Jane" Greene

November 23, 1942 - June 20, 2020
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Letha Jane Greene died suddenly on June 20 at age 77. She was born in Cincinnati in 1942 to Capt. Tom Greene and Letha Cavendish Greene. From early childhood, Jane travelled the inland waterways on her families steamboats, one of which was the Delta Queen. After graduating from Withrow High School, Jane attended the University of Cincinnati, where she earned a degree in English and minored in history and secondary education, later acquiring a master's degree in literature from Xavier University. She taught English for 32 years at Withrow, both entertaining and educating her students, who adored her. Jane's teaching was steeped in creativity; a deep love of literature, especially Shakespeare; and an innate understanding of teenagers. In one of her lessons, students conducted a funeral service for Hamlet, replete with a eulogy, hymns, and press coverage. To popularize Julius Caesar, she awarded a cash prize to the first student who entered class on March 15 proclaiming Beware the Ides of March. Following her retirement, students continued to reach out to her on that date. Additionally, to this day, many former students cite their favorite words from decades-old vocabulary lessons. As faculty advisor to Dux Femina, a service and honor sorority, Jane planned activities that not only united the girls but also served the school. The young women planted bulbs in the campus front yard; sponsored a spring dance, the Tigertown Twirl; hosted special guests; and in the 1970s, canvassed the Hyde Park community to raise funds to restore the schools landmark bridge. The Withrow Alumni Associations reading center bears Jane's name. During the past twenty years, Jane captured the adventures and tales of her life on the river in humorous speaking engagements aboard the Delta Queen, American Queen, and Mississippi Queen, as well as at the Mercantile Library, University Club, Knox Presbyterian Church, Marjorie P. Lee Retirement Community, Terrace Park Historical Society, and Tall Stacks Festivals. She delighted audiences with stories of her father's purchase of the Delta Queen and her mother's onboard dos and don'ts for the Greene children; recollections of her grandmother, who served pickled pig's feet to President Herbert Hoover and was the first woman to have earned her steamboat pilots license; and anecdotes about the passengers, who included President Jimmy Carter, Princess Margaret, Helen Hayes, Patricia Neal, Van Johnson, and William Carlos Williams. Jane is survived by her brother Thomas Greene (Shirley), niece Adrienne and nephews Nathan, Thomas, Christopher, Daniel, and Joel. Visitation will be at T.P. WHITE & SONS Funeral Home, 2050 Beechmont Ave., Mt. Washington on Thursday July 2, from 5:00-7:00 PM. Memorial Service is Private. Memorials may be made to the Withrow Alumni Association, P.O. Box 8186, Cincinnati, OH 45208.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, July 2, 2020 | 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Thursday, July 2, 2020 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    T. P. White & Sons Funeral Home, Inc.
    2050 Beechmont Ave.
    CINCINNATI, OH 45230
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    T. P. White & Sons Funeral Home, Inc.
    2050 Beechmont Ave.
    CINCINNATI, OH 45230
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Nancy Johnson Laferriere

Posted at 05:29pm
I met Jane in the 1950’s at a private summer camp for girls on Elk Lake in Michigan where we spent eight weeks together for a few summers . We became friends quickly and and stayed in touch sporadically with phone calls, notes, or Christmas cards from that time until a couple of years ago when I received my last Christmas card from her. I was thrilled to have her address again but when I tracked her down online to call her, I learned that she had left that location with no forwarding address. Her beautiful obituary was the next news I had about her. What a wonderful life she had! I always wanted to take a trip on the Delta Queen when she was “performing” but never made it. The last time I saw her was in Cincinnati when my husband and I had dinner with her after the ATP Masters tennis tournament there. She was definitely one of a kind and holds a very special place in my heart. I am deeply saddened by her death and shall miss the possibility of hearing from her or seeing her again. She is probably entertaining the angels surrounding her with her zany sense of humor. Rest In Peace, Jane. Nancy Johnson Laferriere

Angela Cook Frazier

Posted at 09:08am
Saddened to hear of her passing! She was a true “jewel” and blessing to Withrow High and all who knew her. From serving as our unique language teacher to serving as Dux Femina advisor, I and all her students are better because of her. RIP Ms. Greene! Hint Hint! Babble Babble!

Stace Darden

Posted at 08:57pm
Wow, I didn't know and im saddened to read this. She definitely was one of my favorite teachers and always put a smile on our faces. I graduated in 1986 and still remember clear as day her telling us "when I say Hint, Hint, Babble, Babble then you need to pay special attention and write down what I'm about to say". We prayed for her safety when she was reported missing years ago and truly will miss her now. R.I.P. Ms.. Greene, R.I.P.

Kathy Runge

Posted at 09:53am
Jane was a unique person. We met at Hyde Park School in the 6th grade when my family moved to the area. We sang "June is Busting Out All Over" in the 6th grade show. We went from two idealistic teenagers ready to take on the world to two senior ladies reflecting back on our lives. Our friendship span 66 years! Conversations over the years were always interesting - all topics were on the table. Jane was in our wedding. I was with her on her last trip on her beloved Delta Queen. It was always an adventure when we were together. Have so many wonderful memories of our good times. She will be missed. Deepest sympathy to all her family and friends. The heavens have gained a bright star!

"Death, the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns." Hamlet

Kathy and Nelson Runge

Joe Warkany

Posted at 10:38am
I got to know Jane through my involvement with the Tall Stacks events, and as Saturday morning regulars at the Hyde Park Echo restaurant. Also, Jane was aboard the Delta Queen on a trip that my late wife, Debie, and I took many years ago. We shared a love of the river and the steamboat age. (Still own a Tom Greene steamboat print). It was my privilege to have known this extraordinary and unique lady. Joe Warkany-Cincinnati

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