Former Mayor Donald E. Green’s passing leaves hole in heart of Cullman

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Former Cullman Mayor Donald E. Green (Courtesy of City of Cullman Municipal Government)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The city of Cullman and its people are mourning the loss of its 29th mayor, Dr. Donald E. Green, who passed Monday, July 4, at age 88. 

Born and raised in Cullman, Green was a beloved educator, coach, city councilman and mayor who always sought to better the community. 

Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs explained why Green was important to him and Cullman as a whole. 

“Mayor Green had such an ability to make the long-range decisions, which were often difficult choices. He had the most concentrated, but diverse, perspective when wrestling with issues that possessed consequences- both good and bad,” he said. “Don was slow and deliberate in his decision making because of this ability, and because he loved Cullman.” 

The two-term mayor, who served from 2000-2008, was a visionary when looking to the future of his cherished hometown. 

“Oftentimes, in the early years, it was as if we were playing checkers and Don was playing chess.  At the time, you may not see the ‘why’ like you wanted, but a short while thereafter, you’d have this epiphany and see why he did what he did, and that was always what was best in the long term for Cullman,” remembered Jacobs. 

Of Green’s altruism, Jacobs said, “Don was never about Don; there was zero personal agenda with that man.  He knew that the decisions of today have everlasting consequences to a whole host of people outside of ourselves.” 

Born in 1934, Mayor Green was a member of the Cullman High School Class of 1953. He went on to earn degrees from Auburn University, the University of Alabama and Texas A&M University. Aside from his four years in Texas and time in the U.S. Air Force, Green was a lifelong Cullman resident. 

Mayor Green is survived by his beloved wife, Dean (née Drake) Green; sons, Drew and Jonathan; grandchildren, Thomas (Babs), Anna, Cole (Leslie) and Madison; and great-grandchildren, Eliot and Quinn. He is predeceased by his parents, sister, brother and his daughter, Donna. 

Look for a comprehensive piece on Mayor Green in the upcoming edition of The Tribune’s “Community Matters.”