July 12, 1958 - May 3, 2021
Funeral Home Wojcik's Funeral Chapel
MICHAEL ANDREW GREENE
It is with great sadness that we mourn the death of Michael Andrew Greene on May 3rd, 2021. Suddenly and unexpectedly at 62 years of age, Michael passed with his wife by his side near their home in Belair, Manitoba.
He will always be lovingly remembered by his best friend and wife of 43 years, Cindy, and their children, Benjamin (Jenny), Julian (Brie) and Adrian (Deanna); as well as his five grandchildren, Livia, Eli, Alexcia, Elena and Liliana; his siblings, Steve (Heather), Laurence, Barb, and Tim (Becky); and his nieces, Erin and Genavieve. He will also be missed by his extended family and his many friends.
Michael was born July 12, 1958 in Rivers, Manitoba to Charles and Joyce Greene. The fourth of five siblings and the son of a minister, he spent his childhood finding his way in several communities, including Neepawa, Manitoba; Atikokan, Ontario; Gettysburg, South Dakota; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and, of course, Waterhen, Manitoba. From the very beginning, religion played a big part in his upbringing and would manifest as a lifelong journey for Michael to better understand what being a Christian meant to him. Throughout his childhood and the many adventures he would find himself caught up in with his parents, brothers, sister and friends, Michael developed three longstanding passions that he carried with him throughout his life: fishing, music, and hockey. His love for these things, his love for his family and his love for the family cabin in Waterhen came early in life and stayed with him throughout his days.
Fittingly for Michael, who made a career in transportation as a bus driver for Winnipeg Transit for most of his professional life, it was a chance meeting while driving a taxi cab at 19 that had the most profound and lasting impact on his life. One day, he happened to give a ride to a beautiful blonde university student named Cindy, and, after hounding her with phone calls for a month, the two connected and quickly fell in love. They proved to be the loves of each other’s lives and would be together for the next 43 years, building a beautiful life together and making countless cherished memories. After marrying and having three sons, they moved the family from Winnipeg to Oakbank, Manitoba.
During his 22 years in Oakbank, Michael lived a fulfilling life raising his children and providing for his family. The house there became a constant in many people’s lives, called home by numerous family and friends taken in by Michael and Cindy throughout the years. It served as a welcoming place to gather for many others, as many memories were made during family dinners, backyard barbecues and other get-togethers. Michael, always involved in the lives of his sons, took the role of a hockey dad and coached several years of minor hockey. He was instrumental in the fostering of a loving home and the time there is fondly remembered as a warm place, where there was a memory of Michael for every room. Whether it be learning a new song on his guitar in the living room, cooking up a delicious stir fry in the kitchen, relaxing and watching evening TV with Cindy in the family room or getting worked up watching hockey games in the basement with the boys.
As often as they could get there, Michael and Cindy spent summers up at the cabin in Waterhen, which they purchased to share with their children, and eventually their grandchildren. Here Michael was able to enjoy his time over the decades fishing, swimming and making more wonderful memories up north in a place that was always a constant in his life. In the later years, he achieved great satisfaction from continuing to build upon what his father had made, bonding with his sons and friends over the various construction projects required for the upkeep of the property.
Despite sometimes seeming a creature of habit, Michael also pursued new experiences when he could find them and thought it important to always be developing himself as a person. He went to university twice, the first time receiving a BA in Religious Studies at the University of Winnipeg and the second studying Statistics at the University of Manitoba. After retirement from Winnipeg Transit in 2009, he was able to use that education to spend a year on the other side of the world in Korea teaching English, an experience that he fondly recollected whenever he broached the subject.
Michael would be regarded by many who knew him as a deeply philosophical man, and his life was heavily characterized by his pursuit of a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ. His interest in religious studies in university was a testament to this, and he spent countless hours throughout his life pouring over scripture and different studies of Christianity and religion, always driven to better understand life and how to be the most complete version of himself he could be. Through his Christianity, he sought to help make the world a better place by being there for others, and never shied away from somebody in need of his help.
In 2016, after their children had left to build lives of their own, Michael and Cindy sold the family home and made a new home in Belair, Manitoba. Here, after spending several years driving a gravel truck for B&B Landscaping, Michael once again found himself driving a bus, this time for the Lord Selkirk School Division, and it was a great fit. In Belair, Michael and Cindy found a quiet place to be together, and enjoyed their time immensely. Winters were spent vacationing to Huatulco, Mexico, where they made local friends that they kept in touch with during the off-season, but the rest of the year was spent in the forest, where they enjoyed each other’s company, visited with friends and hosted family gatherings; while Michael was still able to make time to drive in to Winnipeg for Jets games with his boys. Whether trekking through the woods in pursuit of mushrooms and berries, or spending a quiet evening inside with a warm fire burning, it was a truly happy place, and will always be remembered that way by any who were fortunate enough to be counted as visitors.
Michael Greene was many things to many people. Enigmatic was his rugged exterior juxtaposed against a soft heart and unabashed emotionality. Sometimes he would appear with his face wrapped in a bushy beard, wearing a thick plaid jacket with hands covered in fish guts, and yet somehow that would feel no more out of place than when he’d sit across the table from you stroking a clean shaven chin as he dissected some piece of scripture, or philosophized about life, death and everything in between. Just as likely to smack you with a body check as he was to extend a hand to help you up, his booming voice and boisterous nature will be as fondly recollected as the soft sound of his singing over the strumming of an acoustic guitar. He was a man who laughed, cried, loved and lived with sincerity and purpose. He cared deeply for the people he knew, and doubly for those who were lucky enough to count themselves among the ones he loved. Though he may be gone physically, he will live on in us through our works, his legacy being one of love and understanding for each other as we figure out life without him. Bittersweet is his passing, for while we mourn the loss, the world was brightened by the presence of such a beautiful soul, and through our memories he will remain with us throughout all our days.