Larry Greene, a well-liked football coach at Central Bucks East and highly respected teacher, lost his eight-year battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, early Thursday.
"He was a devoted coach, teacher, husband, and father," his wife Vivian said. "Nothing meant more to him than his kids, his grandkids, his players, and his students."
Mr. Greene, 59, was in charge of the Patriots for 16 seasons overall and was a special education teacher at C.B. East since 1980. His three stints as the school's head coach were from 1987 to 1991, 1996 to 2004, and 2006 to 2007. He returned as an assistant, last serving in the 2011 season.
"He left an indelible mark on so many people, not only on the football field but in the classroom," said John Donnelly, C.B. East's current football coach and a teaching colleague. "His professionalism was unmatched. It's a big loss."
In returning to the sideline in 2006, Mr. Greene - who also coached at Pennsbury from 1992 to 1995 - overcame broken ribs and body lesions, among other cancer symptoms.
"With coaching, I really like that you have the ability to make a big difference in kids' lives," Mr. Greene told The Inquirer in September 2006. "During the season, you probably see them more than their parents do."
In 2006, following his returning game against Suburban One League rival Abington, Mr. Greene said, "I'm not an emotional guy, but I got really choked up when they played 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' "
Greene, whose career coaching record was 125-85-4, was inducted into C.B. East's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2000, he led the Patriots to a 9-2 record and the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA playoffs.
Sean Kelly, athletic director at neighboring Central Bucks West, said Greene "made a positive and lasting impact on countless individuals, particularly with his students."
Said C.B. West coach Brian Hensel: "Larry cared about winning, but he was more about doing the right thing. He was a man of integrity and conviction."
Besides his wife, Mr. Greene, of New Hope, is survived by two stepsons, five grandchildren, and two sisters.
The viewing for Mr. Greene is scheduled for Monday night at Shelly Funeral Home, 5880 Easton Road, Plumsteadville, PA.
The funeral mass is Tuesday morning at Oury Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Buckingham.