Sharing a Lifelong Passion

Gary Green `55

One look at his hands and you can tell that Gary Green `55 has spent decades shaping wood into beautiful works of art, a passion passed down to him in part by his father and grandfather. In the spring of 2018, he discovered the opportunity to share this passion with Northwood students. 

Gary `55 and Avalin Green

“My grandfather used to take me down in the basement and we’d build a little something. Then when we moved to Crown Point, New York, my father bought a sawmill and an apple box factory, and I worked for him. I’ve just always been around wood and woodworking, but I didn’t truly get into furniture building until I retired.” - Gary

Gary and his wife Avalin make annual Leadership Society gifts to the Northwood Fund and a portion of those generous contributions are targeted to support a woodworking course during LEAP, a week-long program that offers students the chance to choose one of a dozen first-hand learning opportunities.   Gary also volunteers his time as a visiting LEAP instructor so he can share his lifelong passion. 

“I just love to turn the pages of an antiques magazine or book and try to replicate pieces that resonate with me, using almost entirely hand tools. “Every piece of wood has been hand-worked and every drawer has hand-cut dovetails and hand-planed parts. “I teach the students in LEAP to do the same and it’s been a lot of fun.”

A Northwood student works the hand planer during the spring `18 LEAP woodworking course.

A Northwood student works the hand planer during the spring `18 LEAP woodworking course.

Mr. Green was fantastic and over-the-top passionate about woodworking. Everything was very hands-on and he really walked us through the finer parts of woodworking so that we could take what we learned and use it at home. He was also very easy to talk to. If we had a question he was always close at hand. - LEAP participant Jared Lambright ’20

For nearly thirty years now, Gary has also served as a member of Northwood’s Board of Trustees helping to guide the school through decades of growth and transformation while remaining true to its mission and sense of place, and he has done so with the same passion, care, and purpose as the museum-quality furniture he has constructed. And, by choosing to support LEAP, the Greens have inspired a new generation to embrace a centuries-old craft, as Gary’s father and grandfather had for him.  

Examples of Gary’s work can be viewed here.