Published by PL-North from Jan. 5 to Jan. 7, 2021.
Molly Leachman Green
1923 - 2021
Molly Leachman Green died on January 2, 2021, concluding a
long and impressive life. A woman defined by an endless
capacity for empathy and generosity, Molly spent her life
greeting the world and those around her with grace and
She is survived by her children, William Green, Sally Handley
(Richard) and Nancy Whiteman (Donald); by her grandchildren
Molly Whiteman (Andrew Vreede), Reed Handley (Sean Gardner), George Whiteman,
and Will Handley (Ashley Hulburt); by her great-grandsons Charlie and Harry Vreede, and
great granddaughter Isla Gardner; and by a crowd of relatives and friends indicative of a
life extraordinarily well lived.
Born the oldest of five children to William and Beatrice Leachman on May 12, 1923 in
Manassas, Virginia, Molly grew up in a clan of Leachmans intertwined as a web of tree
roots. Those formative years were filled with gatherings on the family farm; piano and
violin lessons; tap dancing recitals with her sister Nancy; a grandfather who met her on the
corner every day after school; and great aunts who scrubbed her dark eyebrows to
determine whether the bright copper redhead had dyed them.
Molly graduated from the Western High School (1941) in Washington, D.C., and
Bradford College in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Returning to live in wartime Washington,
she worked for the War Labor Board, and subsequently as a bank teller, joining the ranks
of many women who joined the labor force to serve the wartime effort. In early 1946, she
attended a dinner party comprised of a group of high ranking officers who "could never
quite explain what it was they did," including Lt. Colonel Harry Green. When Harry
appeared at her teller window the following day with a check reading "Pay to the order of
Molly Leachman one lunch at the Carlton Hotel," a great and lasting love was born. Molly
married Harry on June 1, 1946 and spent the next 41 years laughing, traveling the world,
and living with a life partner who encouraged, admired, calmed and comforted.
Following the birth of their three children, the family relocated from Old Greenwich,
Connecticut to Winnetka Illinois in 1958. Molly was an active civic volunteer in both the
City of Chicago and the Village of Winnetka, serving on the Board of Scholarship and
Guidance, the Newberry Library, The Women's Board of the University of Chicago, the
North Shore Senior Center, the New Trier Township Social Services Committee, and as
President of The Friday Club.
To family and friends, Molly was best known for her hospitality, her charm, and for being a
chorus line of one devoted to all Broadway musicals. She had a gift for remembering
names, relationships and other details of the lives of all whom she met; a woman who
endeared herself to family and friends with her solo renditions of "Have An Eggroll Mr.
Goldstone" and "How Are Things in Glocca Morra," performed in the two story front hall
that doubled as Broadway stage.
The family has lost a loving and dear friend, an inspiring mentor and one singular
sensation. Molly's life and legacy will live on in our hearts, and in the sound of music that
will continue to reverberate through the generations. The family wishes to express their
deepest gratitude to the caregivers who provided comfort, dignity and grace throughout
Molly's final years and at the time of her death: Lola, Lily, Mayla, Angie, Janine and
A live stream memorial service will be held on January 16 at 2:00 p.m. CST. For further
details, please visit Wm. H. Scott Funeral Home at www.dignitymemorial.com.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the March of Dimes,