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A Bouquet of Flowers

Frank S. Greene, Jr.
00, 0000 - December 26, 2009

Frank S. Greene, Jr., 71, died suddenly on Saturday, December 26, 2009 after a lifetime of professional distinction in technology and business that included expanding opportunities in those fields for young people, especially women and minorities.

Frank was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He was among the first African American students to graduate from Washington University. In 1961, he was among the first cohort of black students to complete the U.S. Air Force ROTC Program at the University. Later, he was promoted to the rank of Air Force Captain.
He went on to earn a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University, where he remained an active alumnus. He followed that achievement by earning a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Santa Clara University, where he later was elected the first African American Trustee.

As a technology professional, Frank focused on developing high-speed semiconductor computer-memory systems at Fairchild Semiconductor where he was a member of the team that won the patent for the fastest chip design at that time.

Frank also pursued business interests in the computer and technology fields in the early 1970s. He founded Technology Development Corporation and ZeroOne Systems. In 1993, he co-founded New Vista Capital, a venture capital firm which specialized in funding businesses started by women and minorities.

Dr. Greene also shared his expertise in university classrooms, teaching courses in electrical engineering and computer science at Stanford University, Santa Clara University, Howard University and Washington University.

For his achievements Frank was recognized with several prestigious awards. Among them were: The Black Alumni Achievement Award from Washington University in 1991; the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from Santa Clara University in 1993; the Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer Award from Purdue University in 1999; and induction into the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame in 2002.

Frank’s philosophy of life revolved around helping others, and so he supported education in many ways. Most recently, Frank became the namesake of the Dr.Frank S.Greene, Jr., Scholars Program, a science, technology and math initiative for African American students. This Program is administered by the California Alliance of African American Educators. At about the same time Frank founded the GO- Positive Foundation to spread the word about a powerful training tool which he devised and named: VRE: Vision, Relationship, Execution.

Dr. Greene served his community in many ways including board memberships on the National Conference of Community and Justice as well as the American Musical Theater. Other organizations where Frank played a founding or leadership role included: Gamma Chi Boule of Sigma Pi Phi, San Jose Jazz Society, 100 Black Men of Silicon Valley,Inc., The African Network and 100 Black Men of America, Inc. In addition, he was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller.

Frank was also an enthusiastic skier, squash player and aficionado of music, especially the brand played by Frank S. Greene,III, his son. His drive for fairness and justice for all was shaped by his own life story; he infected all of us who associated with him with a boundless enthusiasm to leave the world a better place than we found it. He certainly did; and we are all beneficiaries for having known Frank Greene.

He is survived by a daughter, Angela W. Gage, a son, Frank S.Greene, III, a son-in-law, Henry Gage, Jr., two grand children, Henry Joe Gage, III and Jacqueline Phyllis Gage, a brother, Arthur Greene, M.D., two nieces , Rachel K. Greene and Diana Arrington, and a nephew Christopher A. Greene.

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Remembrances

Frank Greene was a special friend who inspired those around him to do more for the betterment of humankind.He was selfless in his pursuit of improving the lives of those around him. His unique leadership style invited many of us to follow. He will be sorely missed by family, friends and the many with whom he interacted.

Hugh C. Burroughs
Posted by Hugh C. Burroughs, on Sep 14, 2010 at 4:02 pm


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