Alhen Ehrensing Green, 88, of Bowie, Maryland, devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and educator, passed away on December 5, 2022, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alhen was born October 3, 1934, to Alma Zar Ehrensing, a schoolteacher, and Henry Adolph Ehrensing, an architect, in New Orleans, Louisiana. After graduating from McDonough Public High School in 1952, Alhen ventured north on a scholarship to study at Saint Joseph College in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Here she met her beloved husband, Leo Edward Green. After seeing her walk across Mount Saint Mary’s campus, Leo knew he needed a date with The Beauty, who looked just like Julie Andrews. A friend secured him a date, and luckily, he showed up first that night when she had two blind dates planned. Leo and Alhen fell madly in love and wed on June 30, 1956, in New Orleans shortly after her college graduation. They both had a love of children, having nine together: Baby Mary Green who died as an infant, Judge Leo E. Green, Jr, Mary Ehren Green Dirksen, Mary Alison Green Hayes, Vice Admiral Collin P. Green, Mary Kristin Green Charbeneau, Gareth J. Green, Mary Gretchen Green Slabe, and Mary Michelle Green Clark.
Alhen initially worked in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County Public Schools as a teacher before dedicating her life to being a devoted mother and absorbing herself in the community of Bowie, Maryland. While she supported her husband’s political career from Mayor of Bowie to Maryland State Senator, she excelled at nurturing her children’s development, education and sports and activities. Simultaneously, she spent over ten years going to school part time and finished her Master’s Degree in Guidance Counseling at Bowie State University. She went back to work full time at Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, MD, in 1979 as a Guidance Counselor where four of her daughters attended. She diligently supported many students onto successful college admissions and careers and started a swim team at the high school. She ended her educational career as a counselor at Nicholas Orem Middle School and Bowie High School and retired from the Prince George’s Public School System.
Alhen was passionate about her Catholic Faith and serving others in need. She had a full-time volunteer life. Early in her married life and while raising young children, she housed unwed mothers providing them with love and support. She worked for decades as the Clerk of Course of Belair Bath and Tennis summer swim meets, at her cherished parish of St. Pius X where all eight living children attended school, and delivered food for Meals on Wheels, often bringing many of her grandchildren along with her. She was an active member of the St. Pius X Sodality and mentored many children in the community. Alhen was dedicated to the role of Hospice organizations, enthusiastically volunteering at the Hospice House making meals for patients on a regular basis and giving families respite from caring for their loved ones. She later served on the Board of Directors of Hospice of the Chesapeake and the Prince Georgia’s County Library Board. Even in death, her service and care for others continues. Alhen has donated her brain to the University of Texas Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases, so we can advance research for those living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
As a grandmother, she was lovingly called “Mammy.” Family was her highest priority and what she dedicated herself to on a daily basis. She fondly called her children “saints in training” and affectionately referred to her ever growing family as “Dear Gang”. Weekly Dear Gang letters and later emails were part of her continual communications with her cherished family. Being all together was very important to her and she planned summer beach trips to the Outer Banks of North Carolina on a regular basis insisting the family all stay in one big house. Alhen loved to travel, and she and Leo explored the world together. She even took four of her young granddaughters solo on a trip to Europe.
We will miss her wisdom, selflessness, compassion, laughter, interest in each of us, and fervent love of her family. She was an excellent listener, humble and elegant woman, sports lover, and faithful servant of the Lord.
Alhen was predeceased by her parents, Alma and Henry Ehrensing, and her brother Lucas Ehrensing. In addition to her beloved husband, Leo, of 66 years, she is survived by her sisters Mary Ehrensing and Gretchen Yandle, and her brother, Dr. Rudolph Ehrensing, all from Louisiana; her eight children: Leo (Patricia) Green, Jr., Ehren (Bill) Dirksen, Alison (Greg) Hayes, Collin (Alyssa) Green, Kristin (Greg) Charbeneau, Gary (Donna) Green, Gretchen (Tom) Slabe, and Michelle (Joe) Clark; her twenty-five grandchildren: Ellen (Andrew) Blumhardt, Luke (Jessica) Green, Emma Green, Samuel Dirksen, Nicole Dirksen, Isabelle Dirksen, Tim Hayes, Grace (Gibson) McCracken, Sophia Hayes, Hannah (Rex) Butler, Collin Green, Henry Green, Kathryn Green, Alexandra Charbeneau, Megan (Jesse) Kane, Jessica (Matt) Perkal, Carly (Jonathan) Mattus, Mariel Green, Cameron Green, Emily (Ian) Wooley, Matthew Slabe, Sarah Slabe, Maddie Clark, Joey Clark, and Georgia Clark; and her nine great grandchildren: Francis, Mary and Thomas Blumhardt, Lola, Penny and Rex Butler, Charlie and Ralph Perkal, and Max Mattus.
Family and friends may visit on Wednesday, December 14 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at St. Pius X Church in Bowie, MD. A Catholic mass of Christian burial will follow at 11:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be sent to the Alhen E. Green Scholarship Fund at St. Joseph College Alumnae Association 16300 Old Emmitsburg Road Emmitsburg, MD 21727 or at www.msmary.edu/SJCAA. Please view and sign the family’s guestbook at www.beallfuneral.com.