Henry Green, 98

Church custodian

April 12, 2007

Henry Green, a retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. worker and church custodian, died of respiratory failure Saturday at Mercy Medical Center. The longtime East Baltimore resident was 98.

Mr. Green was born and raised in Shulerville, S.C., and moved to Baltimore in 1927. He worked as a longshoreman and a laborer before taking a job in 1932 in the tin mill at Bethlehem Steel's Sparrows Point plant.

After retiring in 1972, Mr. Green returned to work as a custodian at the Patterson post office on Gough Street, and eight years later, became custodian at Faith Baptist Church, where he had been a member since the 1930s.

He was the oldest male member of the church and had served on the board of trustees.

Mr. Green, who was known as "Daddy Ben," stepped down from the custodian job last year after his health started to decline.

He was a member of Faith Baptist Church for more than 60 years, where churchgoers "always looked forward to his warm hugs and smiles" on Sunday mornings, family members said.

A deeply religious man, Mr. Green "demonstrated unfailing commitment to his family, community, church and everyone he knew," said Donald Green, a great-nephew.

Mr. Green provided rides to those who needed to get to church or do errands. He enjoyed baby-sitting his great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, and attending family reunions.

His wife of 57 years, the former Herlease McConnell, died in 1985.

Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow at his church, 833 N. Bond St.

Also surviving are four sons, Henry Green Jr., Edgar Green Sr., Samuel Green and Ralph Green, all of Baltimore; three daughters, Jamelah Quadir of Pawcatuck, Conn., Ida Mae Green and Edna Wilson, both of Baltimore; 15 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; and 18 great-great-grandchildren. A son, Kenneth Green, died in 1985; and another son, Elijah Green, died in 2001.

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