Joyce L. Green

Award-winning Maryland Public Television Producer Crafted Messages That Made A Difference In People's Lives

December 13, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen , fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

Joyce L. Green, an educational television specialist and a former Maryland Public Television producer, died Dec. 6 of complications from multiple sclerosis at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium.

The longtime Cockeysville resident was 63.

Ms. Green was born in Baltimore - the youngest of five sisters - and raised on Beaumont Avenue in Govans.

After graduating from St. Mary's parochial school in 1960, she attended Mercy High School and was a member of the school's first graduating class in 1964.

While a student at Mercy, Ms. Green, in addition to being an outstanding basketball player, began acting in school plays.

After attending Mount St. Agnes College in Mount Washington for a year, Ms. Green entered the Sisters of Mercy, where she remained for a short time.

"While this did not turn out to be Joyce's true vocation, she did demonstrate great piety, especially on one occasion," a sister, Joan Stickell of Timonium, wrote in her eulogy.

"Convent protocol dictated that when the communion wafers were transported from one area to another, handbells would ring - signaling the approach of the wafers - and all in its path were to kneel down as it passed by," wrote Mrs. Stickell.

"One day, hearing the bells from afar, Joyce knelt down as called for and stayed in that position as an old laundry cart which just happened to have a set of bells on it passed by. True reverence," she wrote.

After leaving the convent, Ms. Green earned a bachelor's degree in drama and theater from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Ms. Green began working with the Maryland State Department of Education's division of instructional technology at MPT in Owings Mills in 1970.

"Joan was able to grasp concepts and able to present them in a way that got the desired effect from the audience while meeting the client's goal. And as a writer, she paid attention to detail," said Natalie Seltz, an MPT producer who worked with Ms. Green for 16 years.

"She was one of those rare people who brought out the best in everyone as a friend, writer and producer," said Ms. Seltz, who retired in 1997. "She wanted to get the best out of a situation and did."

Ms. Seltz added that Ms. Green's colleagues "valued her high degree of competence, her integrity and problem-solving skills," and "her devotion to crafting a media message that promised to make a difference in people's lives."

After leaving MPT in 1986, Ms. Green worked as a freelance writer for NASA, BGE, the Governor's Office on Children, Youth and Families, and the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Ms. Green's work also brought her a Peabody Award, a San Francisco State Film Festival award, the American Bar Association's Golden Gavel Award and the Parent's Choice Award.

In 1987, she was diagnosed with the multiple sclerosis that eventually took her life. In the past 10 years, she used a wheelchair.

"She continued working for another decade, and lived independently and drove her own car until a year ago," said another sister, Barbara "Bobby" Curtis of Middletown.

"She had a phenomenal attitude and never complained. She was always willing to listen to others' troubles and concerns," Mrs. Curtis said. "She was an extraordinarily upbeat and just a wonderful lady."

In addition to writing and poetry, Ms. Green enjoyed playing the guitar. She was also an avid Terps and Ravens fan.

"She continued playing the guitar as long as her hands could do it," Mrs. Curtis said.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered for Ms. Green on Thursday at Stella Maris Hospice.

Also surviving are two other sisters, Delia Green of Kent Island and Patricia Goforth of Edmonds, Wash.; nine nieces and nephews; and 18 grandnieces and grandnephews.

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