Linda Green, long-time staff writer for The McDuffie Progress, passed away Monday night at Doctors Hospital in Augusta. She was surrounded by immediate family at the time and had been visited by many friends and family members during her time at the hospital.
“This loss has been a tragic blow to the staff here at The McDuffie Progress and to Linda’s family as well. We appreciate the overwhelming concern and compassion the community has shown in the days leading up to her passing and at the time of her loss,” said Wayne Parham, Progress publisher and editor. “Linda was a key part of our team, but more importantly she was family to us. She will dearly be missed.”
She was widely known in the community and covered the City of Thomson, the Town of Dearing, the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners, and many other governing boards or entities. During her more than eight years with The Progress, she was seen around town during the good times as well as the harder times. Her work week might take her from covering a feature story one day to a devastating fire the next. In whatever the task, she was always diligent in her role as a journalist.
“Linda was just so easy and pleasant to work with. Any time I had a story that I wanted to get the word out on, she was always willing to help,” said Elizabeth Vance, director of the Thomson-McDuffie Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It’s easy for the public to react negatively to journalists over mistakes or differences of opinion, but anytime Linda faced any criticism she did it with the best attitude. She was a sweet lady, always had a smile for you and I will miss her.”
Green also through the years covered education in McDuffie and Warren counties.
“For many years I have been fortunate to collaborate with Linda Green to share with our community the events of McDuffie County Schools. Linda's personality, professionalism, and genuine spirit will be a tremendous absence in our schools and our community. Her gentle smile, humor, and dedication to providing the most accurate information possible was her trademark and she will be greatly missed by all,” said Mychele Rhodes, superintendent of McDuffie County Schools.
But past her role as a reporter, she also forged many strong bonds among others in the community. One school board member was in a tragic car crash about the same time Linda began working at The Progress in June 2011. As Green covered the board of education and other community events, the two grew close through the years.
“Linda was one who used the pen to build-up our community. Through her career as a reporter and her life as a Christian, she brought out the best in others, not only through her words on paper, but by the way she represented Christ,” said Bea Hart-Moss, for mer chair of the McDuffie County Board of Education “If you spent only a few minutes with Linda, you left wanting to be a better person because of the kind, reassuring way she communicated.”
Hart-Moss also thought of Green as a daughter, and Green thought of her as a second mother.
“My daughter Linda called me ‘Momma Number Two’,” said Hart Moss. “Her chosen profession was not just a job to her, it was an anointed ministry from God. My daughter Linda was a loving spirit with a soft spoken voice; yet her voice was very powerful and effective! She had a job to do and she did it with uncompromising class. The epitome of a ‘Chosen Godly Woman’ who spoke powerful volumes for the voiceless. She refused to compromise her integrity and her faith. She brightened up any situation, no matter the circumstances. She had the gift of being able to quote the facts with relevancy and clarity so that we, the community, could better understand and unite for the great good of all.”
Green earned her bachelors degree in mass communications at Fort Valley State College and was a recipient of The Donn Doten Award of Excellence for Writing. She later, at The Progress, won several Georgia Press Association annual awards for photojournalism.
Following college, she worked as a reporter at The Macon Courier and then the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate. Prior to joining the staff of the The Progress, she worked from 1995 to 2011 as a news writer for the United Methodist News Service. That role took her to Africa many times while covering projects in the mission field. Few were privileged to hear her occasionally talk about those trips and flying by helicopter to very remote locations to get a story.
According to her family, a memorial service will be held this Saturday, at noon, somewhere in the Cross-Green community. The location has not yet been finalized as of press time Tuesday. As soon as the location is confirmed, information will be posted on The McDuffie Progress’ Facebook page.