Billie Silvey
They Taught Us to Love
My husband Frank and I had been married less than two years when
we moved to Los Angeles.  We met Bill and Ruby Green--otherwise
known as Dr. and Mrs. William M. Green--the day after we arrived in
L.A.  We were staying on the Pepperdine campus with Norvel and
Helen Young, and went with them to church that first Sunday.  They
were members of the campus church, the Vermont Avenue Church,
where Bill and Norvel both served as elders.

We had planned to visit other congregations in the city before choosing
where we’d place membership, but Bill and Ruby were so loving
and welcoming, and he was such a superb Bible teacher that we ended
up staying for 30 years--long after they left.

Bill’s communion meditations were the most inspiring I’ve
ever heard.  He had one of those rare combinations of a scholar’s
mind and a mystic’s heart.

Bill had come to Pepperdine to teach Bible after retiring as a classics
professor at Berkeley.  A specialist in Augustine, he helped edit the
text of
City of God, and translated several volumes of the Loeb
Classical Library
.

Ruby was the “doer� in the family, visiting the sick, taking food
to the needy, stopping by to pick up those without transportation in a
little yellow Volkswagen bug that she drove really fast!

Ruby was a librarian, and we often saw the two of them holding hands
over the library counter or walking across campus hand in hand.  Their
love warmed all around them.

They were truly hospitable, opening their home to church and college
groups of all ages and races.  Ruby would fix the food, and Bill would
wash the dishes.  â€œIt’s something I can do,â€� he’d
explain.

They visited and encouraged churches in Japan, England, France, Italy
and Germany.

They “adopted� me while Frank was overseas, having me over
for cake on what would otherwise have been a very lonely birthday.  
And when he came back and we started our family, they went with us
to Lion Country and took us out for dinner at El Cholo’s, giving
our children grandparents when theirs were halfway across the country.

Bill and Ruby retired for a second time to Santa Barbara, where their
son Ralph was a doctor.  We spent the night with them and went with
them to the hospital to visit Pete Weldon, who had been a maintenance
man at Pepperdine.  His daughter Barbara was married to Ralph.  
Daughter Carolyn married Jerry Tucker and lived in Oregon.  Their
oldest son Bill married Anne and lived in Seattle.  By that point, they
had eight grandchildren of their own.

Ruby cared for Bill at home through his last, difficult illness.  We drove
up to Santa Rosa for his funeral, accompanied by two other former
students.  Carolyn was pregnant with their ninth grandchild at the time.

Bill and Ruby Green showed us what a mature marriage looked like,
and they helped us get a good start on our own now 43-year
marriage.  We will always remember their example of love, focused on
one another and their family, but broad enough to share with the world.
February 2006
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