OWASA mourns the passing of John W. Greene, Jr., former General Manager of Operations

On Sunday, January 4, 2015 John W. Greene Jr. passed away in his sleep.

The late John W. Greene Jr.

Mr. Greene retired in October 2013 after a very distinguished 32-year career at OWASA in various capacities including 15 years as General Manager of Operations.

“John Greene was a dedicated and hard-working public servant who was admired, loved and respected by all,” said Ed Kerwin, OWASA’s Executive Director.

“He made many important and long-lasting contributions to OWASA, to the Carrboro-Chapel Hill community, and to numerous water and wastewater utility professionals throughout North Carolina. John was simply a wonderful person who we will miss dearly. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family.”

Bob Epting, OWASA’s General Counsel, said “John Greene’s example of selfless leadership, devotion to service, and kindness to everyone he met, will be missed greatly. No one’s work has been more vital to our community than that to which John devoted substantially all of his professional career over the last thirty years, to provide the clean water vital to sustain our community, and to be sure that after its use, that water was cleaned and returned fit to sustain creatures and communities downstream.  We will miss him, but his example will continue to strengthen those who knew him, and to serve us all.”

John, a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and brother, is survived by wife Katherine Dillon Greene, of Pittsboro, NC; children Michael Greene, of Raleigh and Katie Rich (husband Mike) of Snow Camp, NC; grandchildren Austin, Jace, and Grace Rich of Snow Camp, NC; sisters, Karen Houghton (husband Jerry) and Brenda Harris (husband Mark) both of Roanoke, VA; and brother Richard Greene (wife Cindy) of Raleigh, NC.

At OWASA, Mr. Greene’s responsibilities included oversight of OWASA’s lakes, water and wastewater treatment plants, water distribution and wastewater collection systems, pump facilities, laboratories and maintenance. He managed the majority of OWASA’s operating and maintenance budget and the majority of OWASA’s employees.

Mr. Greene was the Director of Engineering and Planning from 1991 to 1998 after serving as the Assistant Chief Engineer and Field Engineer.

John contributed greatly to professional development in the water resources field through his work and leadership with the North Carolina American Water Works Association-Water Environment Association (NCAWWA-WEA), the NC Collection and Distribution School, and the NC Wastewater Operators’ School. He served on the Board of Trustees for the NCAWWA-WEA and the Board of Directors for the Upper Cape Fear River Basin Association.

Mr. Greene was highly regarded in the water resources field in North Carolina. In 2008, he received the NCAWWA-WEA’s Raymond E. “Red” Ebert Award for excellence in water and wastewater engineering and management.

The family will receive friends from 4 to 6 PM on Thursday, January 8, 2015 at Walker’s Funeral Home in Chapel Hill. Funeral services will be held at 2 PM on Friday, January 9, 2015 at the Chapel of the Cross.

For more information: