It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of devoted wife and mother, Natalie Jean Novotny Green on January 14, 2020, at 72 years of age, after a battle with cancer. Born Natalie Jean Bender on May 12, 1947 in Hinsdale, IL, she attended the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, majoring in textile design while strengthening her other artistic skills including painting, drawing, and embroidery. Along with her husband Arthur, she immigrated to Canada in 1969, spending time in Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Toronto before moving to Stratford in 1977. After moving to Stratford, she taught at the University of Waterloo in the Fine Arts Department for 11 years. She also taught art at her home (The Green Studio) where she inspired and guided many budding artists. During this time, she continued to make her own art, and was featured in many private and public gallery showings throughout Canada and the USA from 1968-2006.
Natalie was passionate about all the arts, both as a visual artist, and as a cellist and singer. She spent time as a Board member of the Gallery Stratford, Gallery 96, and the St. Mary’s Children’s Choir, and she also sang for several years with the Stratford Concert Choir. Natalie loved Russian language and culture and worked towards a B.A. degree in Russian Linguistics at Simon Fraser University. Her interest in this subject led her to become founder and chair of the Stratford Families for the Children of Chernobyl (1992-96), a charity which supported children most affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. In addition to her talent, passion, and community contributions, Natalie was a wonderful cook. She also loved gardening, beading, sewing and genealogy, and she generously shared these skills with her friends and family.
She is survived by her loving husband of 50 years, Arthur, her children Catherine Gardner (Mark) and Nicholas Green (Clodagh), her granddaughters Sophia Gardner and Feodora Green, her sisters Nadia Leininger, Nina Minett (Charles), her nieces and nephews: Stephanie Leininger Wilson, Andrea (Serge), Charles Minett (Nicole), Arthur Minett, George Minett (Jessica), Elizabeth Minett (Edward), and their children: Alice, Maya, and Adelia, Wilson; Sophia, Charles, Harrison and Freyja Minett; Autumn and Gabriel Minett; Lyon Herzstock. and many members of her extended family, especially Larry Green (Karen) and Don Green (Charlotte), their children: Heather Backs (Charles), Adam (Lisa) and grandchildren Vivian, Elliot, Oliver Backs and Emerson and Mckinley Green; Don’s children: Ben (Tara), Jesse (Kelly) and grandchildren Tenzin, Anodyne, Phineas, Desmond and Emmett. Natalie was beloved by all who knew her. Her enthusiasm for life, fine arts, and music was inspiring to many and she will not be forgotten. Memorial donations may be made to the Rotary Hospice Stratford Perth in Natalie’s memory and would be appreciated by the family. A celebration of her life will be held in the coming months.
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