Troy businessman dies, leaves lasting legacy

Published 4:00 am Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Burton Green, a Troy businessman and visionary, died Sunday after a lengthy illness but left his footprint on the Troy community, as well as many places along the way.

Green was a lifelong resident of Pike County and the president of the Charles Henderson High School Class of 1961.

Even back then, Green’s classmates realized that he was one who would make his mark in the world, said Jim Roling.

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“Burton was from Youngblood/Shellhorn and came to CHHS in the seventh grade,” Roling said. “He was a super guy. He was a lot of fun and had a terrific sense of humor. And, he was very much a businessman, even back then. In senior high school, he planted and sold peas and other vegetables. He was quite an entrepreneur.”

Roling said Green was always innovative and was continuously looking for new products.

“Burton was interested in the making of ethanol and got interested in eucalyptus because of its high content of alcohol and its possible use for making ethanol,” Roling said. “He owned a very successful insurance company in Troy as a side line but he was really interested in the timber business. As Green Land Company, Burton was very much involved in the pulpwood and logging industries. Out in Oregon, he was involved with a number of companies that sold logs to Japan and woodchips to Sweden and several North Atlantic companies.”

Roling said Green was very knowledgeable about politics and current events.

“He was up on everything because of the kind of business he was in,” Roling said. “He was an important businessman in Troy and he had a lot of involvement in the timber business in places around the world.”

Jimmy Lunsford was also a classmate of Green’s and said, too, that Green had “tremendous vision.”

“Burton was a real asset to the community because he could see down the road 10 years,” Lunsford said. “He didn’t just look at possibilities for tomorrow or next year. He could see much further down the road than most of us. He was a visionary business man.”

Lunsford said Green’s crowning achievement was the development of a piece of property that had become an eyesore for Troy.

“Wal-Mart had closed in the area just off George Wallace Drive and the entire property had become an eyesore,” Lunsford said. “Burton saw what the property could become and sold the deal. That piece of property where the Hampton Inn and Marriot are located is now a place of pride for the city. Burton was always looking down the road and he could see far ahead of the rest of us.”

Lunsford said Green was an outstanding businessman, a wonderful husband and father and just an all around good guy who will be missed by all who knew him.