Evelyn Ruth Greene, a loving wife and beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and an Arizona pioneer along with the Art Greene Sr. extended family, passed away peacefully on May 25th, 2019. She was 99 years young.
Evelyn was born in Brookport, Illinois on April 12th, 1920. She met her husband A.H. “Bill” Greene, Jr. in Paducah, Kentucky in Walgreens where she was working and Bill fell head over heels in love with her the minute he saw her. They were married July 27th, 1945. Following WWII, they moved to Arizona where Bill’s family was living and working at Marble Canyon Lodge for the Hubbell family. Evelyn quickly became a vital part of the Art and Ethel Greene family. The extended family worked at Marble Canyon Lodge managing the Lodge, Café and Gas Station while Art Greene Sr. also ran boat trips up the Colorado River. They bought their own place in 1949 called Old Cliff Dweller’s Lodge(currently registered as a Historic Site) and built the current Cliff Dweller’s lodge on the land they purchased near Old Cliff Dweller’s Lodge. They started their own river running company called Canyon Tours Inc. Bill, Evelyn and their daughter Judi moved to Phoenix where they operated Navajo Indian Curio Shops for the Hubbell family. Shortly thereafter, Hubbell asked them to move to the Indian Reservations of northern Arizona to operate various reservation trading posts. They worked on the Indian reservations from 1949 to 1957 and were deeply loved by the Hopi and Navajo Indians they befriended and worked with. In 1957, Bill, Evelyn and Judi moved back to Phoenix. Bill and Evelyn’s long time friend Ezra Weed, asked them to partner with him and his son in founding Greene and Weed Investments, a real estate firm that created and built Deer Valley Airport. Art Linkletter joined them in this venture as a full investor.
In the early 60’s, when Glen Canyon Dam was being built, the Greene family business Canyon Tours Inc. secured leased land where the proposed Lake Powell water shoreline was projected to be . The extended family built Lake Powell Motel and then proceeded to build Wahweap Lodge and Marina(currently known as Lake Powell Resort) on the edge of Lake Powell. The family became the first concessioners on Lake Powell. At Wahweap Lodge Evelyn was always a very lovely and gracious hostess while also serving as the ever efficient Reservations Manager for all the guests, which often included movie stars and dignitaries that came to the Lodge for a visit. She had an amazing ability to make everyone feel at home and welcome. Generations of Arizonans and visitors from around the world including Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon have benefited from the Art Greene family’s pioneering vision that has made Lake Powell one of the top recreational areas in the country. The family sold Wahweap Lodge and Marina to Del Webb Corporation in 1976 and then Bill and Evelyn proceeded with creating and building the Greenehaven Development Corporation, which included homes and businesses with gorgeous views of Lake Powell. Greenehaven was sold to John Bowman Properties in 1999. Evelyn along with Bill and the extended Art Greene family gave a great deal to the State of Arizona that they loved. Evelyn also loved to do wonderful oil paintings that she gave away to family and friends.
The Greene Family History and Collections are housed at the Heard Museum Library Archives as well as at Arizona State University Libraries Archives and Manuscripts, plus the Navajo Nation Museum, The John Wesley Powell Museum along with Northern Arizona State University Archives and Audio Interviews.
Evelyn was preceded in death by her beloved husband Bill on February 18th, 1998. Her loving parents Amy “Mumsie” and Sterling Garrett passed away many years ago. Her sister Madeline Massie died in 2002. Evelyn is survived by her daughter, Judi Maureen White along with her Son-in-Law, Paul V. White and Grandsons Paul Heywood White and his wife Melanie, Sean Merrill White and great grandchildren Chloe, Audriana and Gabriel “Gabe”.
Evelyn leaves a great legacy and history in the State of Arizona and her family and friends will deeply miss her sweet presence. Her firm Christian Faith was evident in how she lived her life and shared her love with family and friends.
A funeral service was held Saturday, June 1, 2019 in Page, Arizona, with burial in the Page Cemetery. Arrangements were made with Mosdell Mortuary of Kanab.
Contributions can be made in remembrance of Evelyn Greene to:
Hospice of the Valley, 2020 East Woodside Court, Gilbert, Arizona 85297, 480-730-5980.