Prepared by Kara Hahn’s office
Catherine “Cate” Green, of Sayville, passed away on July 3. She was 71.
A legislative aide to Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), Green was a longtime Suffolk County employee. In addition to serving in the legislator’s office in 2018 and returning to the position earlier this year, she previously served as a senior manager of public relations in the county’s Department of Economic Development and Planning.
“Catherine was an exceptional friend to me, whose love, loyalty, bravery and compassion knew no bounds,” Hahn said. “She dedicated herself wholeheartedly to serving others, displaying unwavering commitment in all she pursued despite numerous life and health traumas.”
Before her tenure with the county, Green was the director of communications/public affairs for Long Island MacArthur Airport, where she helped to establish the Hometown Hero welcome program at the airport. She also worked with the Town of Islip and in the private sector for Newsday and as a vice president of branding and strategic marketing for JPMorgan Chase.
A scholar, she resided in Port Jefferson as she earned two master’s degrees from Stony Brook University in English and in English literature and studied Irish literature for a year at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. A progressive advocate, she was active in the peace, anti-nuke and women’s rights movements — proud to have been arrested for peacefully protesting the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant. In the early 1980s, Green joined the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom and helped organize peace vigils on the Setauket Village Green.
Green was an active member of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook for nearly 30 years and a longtime member of UUFSB’s Social Action Committee. She was awarded UUFSB’s Standing on the Side of Love award for her volunteer work of more than 50 years, from Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign to her involvement in local politics helping to get people of color elected, from her leadership in the anti-nuclear movement to teaching a major corporation how to hire and support a more diverse workforce.
Longtime friend Peggy Fort, of Stony Brook, said: “Catherine and I helped organize the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Walk-A-Thon, and we were involved in many rallies, sessions on disarmament at the United Nations and Washington marches. Catherine was instrumental in helping to garner the support of then Brookhaven Town Supervisor Henrietta Acampora for the walk-a-thon and our petition.”
A compassionate soul, Green worked at one of the first crisis intervention hotlines on Long Island, Middle Earth, and for Suffolk County’s Department of Social Services. Green was also integral in countless local political campaigns, including Hahn’s campaigns for county legislator and Congress and Vivian Viloria-Fisher’s run for Suffolk County clerk. In Islip, she assisted George and Phil Nolan, Bill Lindsay Jr. and current Town Councilman Jorge Guadron, among many others. She also helped run successful phone banks for former President Barack Obama on Long Island.
A master wordsmith and outstanding writer, she understood the importance of an individual’s personal “voice” as well as the sound, simplicity and power of words.
An environmentalist, Green so cared about the earth that she often was viscerally angry for human contributions to pollution and climate change and always cherished the buzz of a bee, the song of a bird, the beauty of the bay, the flutter of a butterfly, the scent of a flower and the sound of wind rustling the leaves of a majestic tree.
She was a lover of music and a performer with the voice of an angel. Catherine, aka Cate, of Cate & Co., performed regularly as lead singer with her extraordinarily talented bandmates and recently hit the studio to record an album with them.
“She found pure joy performing and wanted to share that joy with everyone she could,” Hahn added.
Born on Dec. 27, 1951, at Southside Hospital, Green, the middle child of nine children, was raised in Amityville. She met her husband, John, at a party in Huntington thrown by his brother, who was dating her sister at the time. They married in 1982, and Catherine and John welcomed their daughter Liz into the world in 1988. The family moved to Sayville in 2001. In addition to her husband and daughter, she leaves behind her siblings Marian, Virginia, Michael, Donna, Jody and Margaret-Mary, as well as several nieces, nephews and countless friends. Green was predeceased by her mother and father, Mary and Albert Synan, and brothers Kenneth and John Synan.
“Her remarkable presence touched the lives of countless individuals, as she selflessly extended her generosity, authenticity and kindness to all who had the high honor of knowing her,” Hahn said. “Catherine’s indomitable spirit, grit, perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity were an inspiration to us all. She was a force to be reckoned with and gracefully lived by her progressive and Irish Catholic values. In commemorating Catherine’s life, let us remember the indelible mark she left on our hearts and strive to emulate her unwavering dedication to the betterment of others. Her legacy will forever shine brightly in our memories, reminding us of the profound impact a person can have in the service of others”
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Raynor & D’Andrea Funeral Homes in West Sayville. A visitation on Sunday, July 9, and chapel service on Monday, July 10, were held at the funeral home. Cremation was private. Her family and friends plan to plant a tree in her memory overlooking the Great South Bay at Sayville Marina Park.