Elizabeth (Frankie) Greene

Date of Birth

October 21st, 1914

Date of Death

December 17th, 2012

Memorial Meeting

Santa Fe Monthly Meeting


Elizabeth “Frankie” Swing Greene died in Santa Fe at the home of her daughter on December 17, 2012, at age 98. Born in Oberlin, Ohio, on October 21, 1914, she was home-schooled by her mother, Suzanne Morin Swing, a renown suffragette. Her father was Raymond Gram Swing, a news commentator. Frankie grew up on a farm in Wilton, Connecticut and then graduated from Oberlin College. She earned her MSW from Case Western Reserve University and worked as a social worker for several years in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Frankie and her husband, Gerald Greene, were married in 1941 by Fiorello La Guardia, then the mayor of New York City.

They joined Cambridge (Massachusetts) Friends Meeting in 1946. In 1948 they transferred their membership to the Friends Meeting in Hartford, Connecticut where Dr. Greene practiced as an orthopedic surgeon for over 30 years. There they raised three children, Michele, Erick and Dennis. The Greenes were involved in the exciting process of building a Friends Meetinghouse on land that had an old Quaker cemetery and had had a Meeting from 1749 until 1847. A photo of the beautiful Hartford Meetinghouse that was completed in 1950 was prominently displayed on the wall of their most recent apartment in Santa Fe. Frankie was active in community arts organizations in Hartford and opened her own travel agency as well as two restaurants that she and Gerry supervised.

In 1980 Frankie and Gerry retired and moved to Santa Fe, a town they had always loved. They transferred their membership to Santa Fe Monthly Meeting in 1989. The Greenes were generous supporters of Meeting, donating a large number of sturdy, padded, folding chairs that are still the main seating accommodation in the Olive Rush Studio where meeting for worship is held. They also arranged for the restoration and mounting of an antique Navajo weaving that hangs on the wall of the meeting room. Frankie volunteered for the Wheelwright Museum, Indian Market, and the School of America Research. She and Gerry wrote weekly restaurant reviews for two local newspapers and enjoying treating their friends to lunch at the latest little ethnic cafés they had discovered.

In 1990 the Greenes moved to El Castillo Retirement Residences. They spent quite a few winters in Portugal helping to home school the children of their son Dennis and his Portugese wife Saint. Frankie and Gerry loved travel abroad and collected folk art from many countries. Gerry died in 2009 at age 95. He and Frankie had been married for 68 years. Frankie stayed on in an assisted living apartment at El Castillo until two months before her death, when her daughter Michele Hermann brought her to home to care for her. Frankie is survived by her three children and five grandchildren.