Obituary of Joseph C. Greenley
Joseph C. Greenley was born December 13, 1922, the third child to Emily and Joseph S. Greenley, in San Jose, California. He attended Lowell Elementary, Roosevelt Junior High and graduated from San Jose High School in 1941. During these years he worked primarily in fruit harvesting in the summer and delivery of the San Jose Mercury Herald and Evening News year around.
His early interest in fishing and hunting was sparked by his two uncles, Jack and AL and with his best friend West Stone and his dad who took him where he otherwise would not have had the opportunity. Joe’s dad was too busy earning a living during these “Depression” times to do much hunting or fishing.
Lacking the funds to enter college in 1941, he went to work for the Bank of America. He also enlisted in Company M of the California State Guard which had replaced the National Guard when it became federalized. With the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7 raising concerns about possible sabotage efforts, he was activated with the Guard for security duty at the Golden Gate Bridge and the waterfront.
On January 27, 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in San Francisco, the first of three siblings in his family to enlist in WWII. After basic and technical training he was assigned to the 59th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Fighter Group on Aug. 3 in Philadelphia, Penn. The Group then shipped out of New York on Nov. 1 landing in Casablanca during the invasion of Morocco on Nov. 19, 1942. He then served as a mechanic on P-40s for three campaigns in the North African-European theatre then after they moved to the China-Burma Theater he became Crew Chief on a P-47, then P-38. As the war concluded he returned to the States and was honorably discharged on Sept. 11, 1945 after 44 months of which 34 were overseas.
Taking advantage of the GI Bill, he entered San Jose State College in Oct. of 1945 to pursue his long time career ambition to work in fish and wildlife management. It was here, where he met Marvel Berg who was pursuing her teaching degree. They married Feb. 23, 1947, a marriage which produced five children, and lasted for 64 years until she passed away May 1, 2011.
They moved to Wren, Oregon in 1948 when he transferred to Oregon State College (OSC). He was hired by the Oregon Forestry Department as a Fire Warden in Wren during the summer which also provided the Guard Station as their home year around. The Wren Grade School was located in back of the Guard Station where Marvel was hired as teacher.
He graduated in from OSU in 1950 with Senior Honors, a B.S. Degree in Fish and Wildlife Management and was elected to Phi Kappa Phi, the National Scholastic Honor Society.
For the next 37 years he served professionally in fish and wildlife management. He was hired initially by Frank Groves, Director of the Nevada Fish and Game Department on July 1, 1950 as a District Agent-Assistant Warden in Smith, Nevada. He then progressed to District Supervisor, and in July 1957 he was promoted to Chief of the Game Division in Reno. In this position he also served as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Game Management at the University of Nevada.
In 1968 he was given a year leave of absence to serve as Game Division Director in Alaska at their request to assist in the reorganization of their Game Division. He accepted considering the offer to return to Nevada if he so decided. The Job was good, and some progress was made, but Juneau in the winter with 5 young children and mother was too much. They returned to Nevada near the end of the year.
In 1971 he was appointed Director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game where he served through 1979, then returned to Nevada where he served as Director until March of 1982. Finally, he served as Executive Director of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council with headquarters in Portland from March of 1982 to July of 1987 when he retired and returned to Boise.
Whatever management accomplishments were achieved during his 37 years tenure with the agencies listed he attributes to his early interest, subsequent training, and on the job support. This began when he joined the California Junior Game Patrol while in San Jose High School sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Game. His postwar education at San Jose and Oregon State Colleges were then funded by the G.I. Bill making his college education possible.
Joe always recognized and maintained, to the end, that the major factor in any success he enjoyed during his career was the support he received from those who hired him, the quality of the programs and expertise of the staffs he inherited and hired.
He was greatly appreciative of the Resolution from the California State Assembly, his home state, in addressing his service as Director of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, commending him for successfully bringing into decision making process those fishermen in California, Oregon and Washington affected by Council decisions. He was also honored by the Oregon State College of Agricultural Sciences by adding his name to the Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Career Achievement Registry.
The most pleasant times enjoyed by Joe, Marvel the kids and dog were camping and fishing at Kennedy Meadows and Lake in the Sierras, National Parks in the West and Bruneau State Park in Idaho which became an annual event. In the Fall, it was waterfowl, upland game bird and big game hunting with the boys and dog. He and Marvel also enjoyed cruises and tours of Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, England, Scotland, Sweden and the land of their ancestors, Norway.
Joe was a lifetime member of the First United Methodist Church, an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Boise Valley Fly Fishermen Inc. and the Poachers Club (an early, historically significant, wildlife conservation organization in Boise). He was active earlier in the VFW, Masonic Lodge, a Leader in a youth conservation organization in Wren, Oregon, and a Little League Baseball team and “Y” Indian Guides in Nevada.
He is survived by his daughters Johanna Crouch and Loretta Ponton and their husbands Norman and Bill of Reno, Nevada, Rebecca Kissel and her husband Kevin of Kennedale, Texas, son Joe and his wife Bonnie of Port Townsend, Washington, Jeffrey and his wife Judy of Boise, eight grandchildren and numerous great grand children. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Lee Kuhn Memorial Endowment Fund, (scholarship for fish and game students) at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331, or the Humane Society, 4775 Dorman St, Boise, Idaho or charity of your choice.