Celebration of a Wonderful Woman’s Life: Cristina Greene


A packed house filled the Black Hawk College lower lobby to attend a Celebration of Life in Cristina Greene, former counselor at Black Hawk College, who passed away on New Year’s Day. The event ran out of programs before the start of it. Representatives from Black Hawk, Casa Guanajuato, and Viva Quad Cities were present. It was a very diverse crowd of friends from many cultures and Greene’s family attended the event.

The event had Dr. Jeff Blackwell as master of ceremonies, who thanked everybody for coming. Dr. Rose Campbell, vice president for instruction and student services presented the Greene family a 25 year pin and certificate for her time at Black Hawk. “She’d treat you with that smile and dedicated a quarter century of her life serving a kindred spirit,” she said.

Heather Holding mentioned that Dean of Student Support Services, Dr. Dick Vallandingham’s comment that it would take five people to replace her was “shot down a bit” to the laughter of the audience. After Holding’s statement a Togolese dance was performed which the crowd applauded with in unison.

Representing Casa Guanajuato, Imelda Crinklaw said that Cris was her counselor. “Her students were first; she guided us with her work. She’ll always be in our hearts and she left a great mark in many of us. There are no words to express her loss,” she said.


Luis Puentes of Viva Quad Cities mentioned that Greene had been a part of Viva Quad Cities since its inception in 1993. “I’d like her to know that we’re thinking of her. She was a teacher, mentor, friend, and leader, became passionate about Hispanic people, and embraced by all people,” he said. “She had a lot of wisdom; hopefully we’ll see each other again. Goodbye my friend.”

The most emotional moment came when the family spoke. Her son, Brian Greene said that he had a fantastic mom. He played a tune that his mother liked. “She poured so much of herself into the family, she made time for us,” he said. “She was infinitely patient, totally supportive, fabulous person, she’ll always live on. I can’t put it into words, I couldn’t ask for a better mom.”

Mrs. Greene’s daughter, Sharon Buckingham was humbled to be at the event. “She was a super mom, super everything, but like Superman, mom had kryptonite.”


Buckingham shared the stories of how her mother couldn’t drive manual a stick shift car and drove around in circles. Buckingham said her mother was “directionally challenged”, since she was bad with directions. Mrs. Greene’s last wishes were that she didn’t want a funeral or a visitation. To prove to Buckingham, that she wasn’t “cuckoo”, Greene showed 2 pages of newspaper clippings of people who had similar wishes. Buckingham’s daughters, Isabel and Cristina played piano pieces in honor of their grandmother, Cristina Greene.

Vice-president for Association of Latin-American Students, Jose Nuñez shared the story on how Mrs. Greene helped his family to get him into daycare and how she would always help everybody, “She never missed anything.”


Former student and now a bilingual teacher, Gabriela Nuñez Reagan said that Cristina had been helping her family in applying for a visa. “She always helped us, she was an excellent role model, became very active in the community, we love you,” she said.

Marisa Aleman was a former ALAS president and attended Black Hawk from 1998 to 2001. She sang “Did you ever know that you’re my hero” and said, “There was never a day without a smile on her face.


Zobeida Laufenberg spoke on behalf of the “Latina Five”, a group that Cris Greene was a part of. “She always had a desire to help others, have passion to achieve goals, unwavering leader for justice and equality.”

After the “Latina Five”, a tango titled “recuerdo” (remembrance) was performed by Xixuan and Conan Collins. Then the crowd was allowed to share their memories of Cris. To conclude the ceremony, twelve international students read a prayer in a total of twelve languages among them, Spanish, Chinese, Polish, Danga, Arabic, and Japanese. To conclude the even her family was then given balloons to send to the sky in Chris Greene’s honor..

Viva Names Scholarship in Cris Greene’s Honor
According to Luis Puente of Viva Quad Cities, he confirmed the rumors that Viva Quad Cities is naming a scholarship in honor of former Black Hawk College counselor, Cristina Greene.  Applications for the Viva Quad Cities scholarships are now available at www.vivaquadcities.com
and clicking on the scholarship and application links. Applications must be completed and postmarked by June 27, 2008 NO EXCEPTIONS will be made.

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