Annette Edna Ross Greenland passed away Dec. 17, 2020. In her life she knew many joys and many sorrows, and calculated that she had survived one fire, two major earthquakes, two hurricanes and three tornadoes.
Annette was born April 4, 1935, in Davenport, Washington, to Frances Ann Beckman Ross and Dexter Clarence Ross. The family moved to Glendale and then North Hollywood, California, before settling in Centralia, Washington, where Annette met her high school sweetheart and future husband, Don Greenland, and graduated as valedictorian of Centralia High School in 1953.
Annette was a dedicated lifelong learner and pursued her education over many decades and at a variety of institutions. She attended Centralia Junior College, Washington State College at Pullman and, after marriage on July 8, 1956, the University of Washington, where she earned a psychology degree while working in the lab of the dental school. After graduation, Don’s employment took them to San Diego, and then to Portland, Oregon, where Annette learned and taught Esperanto. She translated and published the poems of her Esperanto pen pal in Estonia, including making an original block-printed cover for the book. While in Portland she pursued her teaching qualifications at Portland State College.
In 1969, Don’s job brought them to McGehee, Arkansas, where Annette taught fourth grade and learned how to deep fry vegetables. Previously Lutheran, Annette and her family became active in First Presbyterian Church of McGehee where Annette made dear friends and often played piano. She helped organize and played accompaniment for several Christian rock musicals in the early 70s that brought diverse aspects of the community together to perform.
1974 took the family to Stuttgart, Arkansas. In addition to serving as off-campus class coordinator for what was then Phillips County Community College, she began work on her M.Ed. in higher education from the University of Arkansas, which she completed in 1983. The family again found community and dear friends at First Presbyterian Church, where Annette was ordained an elder, and her piano playing skills were put to frequent use. She particularly enjoyed playing the old hymns upon request.
With their children grown and flown, Don and Annette relocated to West Hadley, Massachusetts, where in 1988 Annette earned her Ed.D. in adult and higher education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her dissertation received a national award for excellence.
Upon Don’s early retirement, the next move was for Annette’s new job, the first full-time, tenure-eligible faculty member in adult education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. To her great disappointment, the program was discontinued after seven years. She served an additional year as Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Services in the College of Education. She belonged to many professional organizations and contributed to their journals. While in North Carolina, Don and Annette built “NottaLottaWatta” farm near Concord. The Presbyterian Church they attended backed up to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, so did not meet on race days.
1997 brought the couple back to Arkansas, this time to Vilonia, where they established “Downhill Farm.” Annette worked on several grant-funded projects at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock before retiring. She also traveled to Nepal as a volunteer in adult curriculum development for the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. She was the rare, if not only, senior citizen that graduated from the Faulkner County Leadership Institute. She stayed involved in their alumni group for many years.
After retirement, Annette pursued humor research, with a particular interest in using intentional humor to enhance adult learning and teaching, becoming a Certified Laughter Leader. She served on the Faulkner County Library Board and in several capacities in the Conway Chapter of the American Association of University Women. She was a research reviewer for the Mensa Education and Research Foundation for 15 years. She was active in First Presbyterian Church, Conway, especially in adult Christian Education activities. She edited their book of church history, which was published in 2005. For more than eight years, she wrote a weekly bulletin item on lectionary passages.
Annette had a lifelong interest in preserving peoples’ memories and stories. She did extensive family genealogy and particularly enjoyed organizations that preserved stories of her husband’s forebear who had participated in the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Although she gladly relinquished much of the cooking to her husband in mid-life, she still liked to bake and was known for her chocolate cake, particularly the frosting, and for her molasses crinkles.
She loved animals. The Dorper sheep she and Don raised were registered as “Annette’s Pets.” She loved dogs, particularly beagle puppies. She had a great sense of humor and loved puns. In addition to extensive writing during her life, often published in newspapers of the towns where she lived, she was a talented photographer.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers, Dexter Clarence Ross and Curtis Edward Ross. She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Donald C. Greenland, Jr., of Vilonia; daughter Jann Greenland of Little Rock; and son Don Greenland III and his wife Angela DiGiulian Greenland, and grandchildren Megan Greenland and Carter Greenland, all of Conway.
No public service will be held at this time due to pandemic restrictions. A celebration of her life will be held in warmer weather. The family asks that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to Heifer International, Arkansas Foodbank, or the Faulkner County Humane Society.
Arrangements for Annette Edna Ross Greenland are under the care and direction of Vilonia Funeral Home 1134 Main Street Vilonia, AR 72173. Sign the online guestbook at www.viloniafuneral home.com