NORTHFIELD VILLAGE — Mayor Jesse Nehez remembers what an ally Beatrice Greenlee was in protecting some green space off Electric Boulevard.
"One thing she helped me do, which was a significant accomplishment for both of us, was the preservation of the Pitluk Preserve," said Nehez.
Greenlee, who served on Village Council for two decades, much of it as council president, and whose husband Charles was mayor in the 1980s, died Sept. 5. She was 85.
"Incredible lady," said Nehez. "Loved the town very, very much. She truly is going to be missed."
Nehez served with Greenlee for six years following his election to Council in 2005. He then continued working with her after his election as mayor in 2011 until she chose not to run for re-election in 2015.
She told the News Leader at the time that some of the things she was proudest of being involved with was the development of the fire department from a part-time unit to a 24/7 service and the then-new administrative building for the service department on Ledge Road. She also was glad to be a part of developing the first charter the village ever had.
I am just enthused about the village," Greenlee said. "I raised my kids here, I owned three homes here, I truly love the village. It is a special little town we have here and the residents have been wonderful."
Greenlee had said she wanted to focus more time on church activities, though she did maintain some involvement with the village by serving on the Recreation Board after retiring from Council.
Pitluk Preserve, the entrance of which is opposite the west end of Maple Avenue, is an 11-acre wooded area that was converted into a preserve with a parking lot and walking trail while Greenlee and Nehez were both on Council. Sally Pitluk donated the property to the village when Charles Greenlee was mayor in the 1980s.
"She worked very hard on that," said Nehez. "Her and her husband actually worked very hard on that, to keep that land preserved so nothing could be built on it."
According to Greenlee’s obituary, she had lived in the village for more than 60 years.
"One thing I remember most about her is all of her stories she used to tell," said Nehez. "It was really amazing to hear and I’m going to miss her. She would just tell stories about when her husband was the mayor and the different things he did to promote the plaza, the different things they did to promote and improve the overall appearance of the village and many good things."
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at 330-541-9431, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JeffSaunders_RP.