By Rosaland Tyler
New Journal and Guide
Alveta Green said she is pleasantly surprised when people stop her on the street, phone, or knock on her door to congratulate her on the renaming of Philpotts Road. Norfolk City Council recently voted to rename Philpotts Road after her late husband, Walter Green, who died last year at age 81. At the request of his family, it will become Walter H. Green Sr. Road. The new name will be ceremonial and remain Philpotts Road for official purposes, according to news reports.
On August 11, the city will host the official ceremony at 11 a.m. “I feel good about it,” Green said in a recent phone interview. “My husband worked hard. It is a great feeling. We have received a lot of compliments on the street naming. Some say congratulations. Others say my husband was so deserving of this. Earlier today a man my husband coached in track dropped by the house to congratulate me.”
But, this is what amazes Green most. She and her husband never set out to gain recognition. “We just wanted to make things better for the neighborhood, the city, and our children,” she said. “But we didn’t know we would get recognition for trying to make things better.” When Green, a former member of Norfolk’s School Board and City Council, learned a council ordinance had recently renamed the street for her husband (who chaired the Philpotts Road Improvement Group, and helped gather signatures on a petition to improve it), she said, “We are proud and humbled that the city is recognizing all his work.”
The couple’s involvement in the community has been steadfast. In the spring, Hampton Roads Counselors Association honored her husband with an award named after him. Meanwhile, 200 Plus Men honored him in 2015 with their Inspirational Leadership Award. “Many were surprised he had done so much,” said Green who has also received many awards including Virginia State University’s 1997 Alumnus of the Year Award. Last year, the local chapter of Virginia State University honored her. “I’m trying to stay busy,” she said. Her husband made history during his lifetime. The first person of color to serve as a guidance counselor at Norview High School, the Norfolk Civil Service Commission, and the state’s Capital Punishment Advisory Committee, he has made history again.