Greene, a longtime Norwalk resident, served a church on Staten Island for five years before moving to Norwalk in September of 1962. On Jan. 31, he celebrated his retirement with friends, family and congregants at the church that has been his home away from home for almost five decades.
"My Dad was a pastor and I grew up in the parsonage, you might say," Greene explained in an interview with the Citizen. "I've always been close to the Church."
And even though his faith has always been strong, Greene wasn't always certain about his calling.
It was decades ago during his enrollment at Paul Smith's College in the Adirondack Mountains of New York that Greene had a life-changing experience -- an experience that angled his path away from a career in forestry and toward the Lutheran Church.
It occurred after a showing of the movie "King Solomon's Mines."
"I was walking down a street to get my ride back to college," Greene remembered. "I was just walking along, and I felt this tremendous warm feeling come over me, if you can believe that sort of thing."
"I sensed it, and I felt it, but I didn't hear any voice or anything like that. It was a unique experience. I remember afterward I spoke with my father. I asked him what he thought it meant, what I should do."
While Greene will fully admit some may be skeptical of such an otherworldly occurrence, he believes it was a clear message as to where he should concentrate his efforts over the remainder of his life.
Soon after Greene enrolled in a pre-seminary program at Wagner College and then attended the Mount Airy Lutheran Seminary in Pennsylvania. In the fall of 1962 he arrived in Norwalk and began his duties as pastor at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. He has lived in Norwalk since.
For Greene, serving Good Shepherd has been as much about the community at large as it has been about his congregation.
"I just feel I've had a very rich experience, not only in the congregational aspect of it, but in the community aspect of it," he said.
And, he added, his faith, his family and the many members of the community who recognize him when he's out and about in town have been at his side the entire way.
"There have been many bumps in the road," he said. "When you work with people, sometimes you work with sad things. But the Lord has always smoothed the bumps in the road out, I guess you could say."
While the bothersome aches and pains of arthritis have done more coming than going lately -- "Probably if it wasn't for that I wouldn't retire," he admitted -- Greene will continue to pursue an active lifestyle in the community he has called home for nearly half a century.
At 78 years old, he enjoys reading, writing, the outdoors and wildlife -- he was a forestry student, after all -- and says he can't wait to spend a little extra time fishing.
"I do love to go fishing," he said. "My son-in-law and daughter have a place on a lake and it's just full of big bass."
When questioned about what the next leg of his life might hold, he said simply, "I've got plenty to do."
Retirement, however, won't be without its changes.
Though he'll have a good pension plan and health benefits through the Church, Greene won't be able to keep his Norwalk home. Instead, he'll move in with his daughter, Wendy Carter, and her family.
Carter has been Greene's secretary for about a decade.
"We've become very close through that," she said. "The wonderful thing is that no matter where I go, people know us. He has a congregation, of course, but he's really made a connection with the people in the community. I've got all these calls from miscellaneous people asking about him -- someone he met at the bank. Someone he visited in the hospital."
And, according to Carter, her family -- which includes a college-age daughter and a high school-age son -- is more than just a little excited about Greene and his wife Marion's move-in.
They've even become members at a Planet Fitness Gym together -- yet another outlet, Carter believes, that Greene will tap to touch the lives of others.
"I know he's looking forward to seeing some other pastors [during retirement]," she said. "And I think he's just looking forward to having a little bit more time."