Former Colorado state Rep. Gwyn “Fighting Granny” Green has died

Author: Marianne Goodland - September 14, 2018 - Updated: September 27, 2018

Gwyn GreenGwyn Green, former state rep, 1938-2018. Photo courtesy Olinger Mortuary

Former Colorado state Rep. Gwyn Green, who was known as the “Fighting Granny,” passed away on Sept. 12 at age 79 after a long battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Green, a Democrat from Golden, served in the Colorado General Assembly from 2005 to 2009. She stepped down at the end of the 2009 session, citing ill health and a wish to spend more time with family. Rep. Max Tyler was chosen by a vacancy committee in her stead.

Green also served on the Golden City Council from 2001 to 2004.

Gwynith Marie Green was born Nov. 21, 1938, in New Orleans. She also lived in Georgia while her husband, Dan, was in the Air Force. She was a Colorado resident for more than 50 years.

According to information provided by the family to Olinger Mortuary, she graduated from St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana, and received a master’s in social work from the University of Denver.

Green’s legislative work focused on child abuse. She sponsored the most controversial bill of the 2006 session:  removing the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits tied to those who had survived sexual abuse during childhood. The bill drew strong opposition from the Catholic Church, of which she was a member. The bill failed and Green tried again in 2008, without success.

Green’s social work focused on seniors and the disabled. “She was active in her church, especially in social justice issues and in the League of Women Voters, particularly with sustainability and children’s issues,” according to her family.

Green is survived by her husband of 56 years; four children: Laura, Kevin (Barb), Mark (Mary Ann) and Benjamin (Julie); 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Ian Silverii, executive director of Progress Now, told Colorado Politics that Green was a “force of nature.” He said Green’s 2008 campaign was the first one he ran after moving to Colorado, and she earned the “Fighting Granny” nickname for her efforts to protect kids and the underprivileged.

“I didn’t know what to expect when we first met: me, Jewish kid from Jersey, and her a Catholic.”

“I miss her a lot already.”

Services are pending, but in lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations go to CASA of Jefferson & Gilpin Counties, 100 Jefferson County Parkway, #2040, Golden, CO 80401, or the ACUL, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004.

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland is the chief legislative reporter for Colorado Politics. She's covered the Colorado General Assembly for 20 years, starting off in 1998 with the Silver & Gold Record, the editorially-independent newspaper at CU that was shuttered in 2009. She also writes for six rural newspapers in northeastern Colorado. Marianne specializes in rural issues, agriculture, water and, during election season, campaign finance. In her free time (ha!) she lives in Lakewood with her husband, Jeff; a cantankerous Shih-Tzu named Sophie; and Gunther the cat. She is also an award-winning professional harpist.