Cover photo for Charles J. Greene's Obituary
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1944 Chuck Greene 2024

Charles J. Greene

September 28, 1944 — May 29, 2024

Bracebridge

Charles J. Greene, known as Chuck, died Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at home in Bracebridge, Ontario with his friend, Sky Richarde, at his side. He made the tough decision to refuse further treatment for a terminal disease and to enjoy his remaining time instead.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, September 28, 1944, to Rita (nee Hands, later Eisendrath) and TV and film star Lorne Greene, he was a twin to his sibling, Linda. His lifelong commitment to observing, defending, and enjoying nature began at camp Arowhon Pines in Ontario’s spectacular Algonquin Park. There he cut his first trail and trail-blazing became a major theme of his life.

He followed his sister Linda to Neuchatel Junior College in Switzerland, earned a Political Science degree from MIT, got his first media job as a researcher at CTV in Toronto, where he worked with W-5 reporter /director Stephen W. Dewar. They became business partners, writing, directing, and producing documentaries for radio and television, then developing talk shows, comedies, and dramas. After moving to Los Angeles, Chuck partnered again with Dewar in the 1980s to create and co-produce Lorne Greene’s New Wilderness, a new form of nature series. It was assembled from footage shot by major nature cinematographers crafted into narratives based on leading edge science. New Wilderness’s 105 episodes told stories from animals’ points of view, demonstrating how human behavior had begun to devastate vital habitats, informing and entertaining people around the world. It aired on CTV for five years, was sold in syndication across the US and shown in more than 100 countries, winning many awards including three Daytime Emmys for cinematography, music composition and film editing.

In the 1990s, Chuck moved to Lake Tahoe’s Incline Village, the setting for his father’s most recognized show, Bonanza. From 1998 until 2015, Chuck was a lead member of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association and chair of its development committee, raising funds to complete what became a world class trail. In 2005, he started the Sierra Front Recreation Coalition made up of government leaders, community leaders and several non-profits to support a seamless network of outdoor recreation opportunities for the whole eastern front of the Sierras. He was a founding member of the Tahoe Fund to raise money to support environmental projects; served as the Washoe County lay member on the Advisory Planning Commission of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, which developed the Regional Plan for Lake Tahoe; helped the Incline Village and Crystal Bay Historical Society steward and share the area’s history, including donating for a historic display of his father’s artefacts from Bonanza.

In 2014, he returned to Canada and bought a home in Bracebridge, the gateway to the Muskoka’s. There he soon discovered a part of the Trans Canada trail system that had fallen into disuse. He spent the next several years re-blazing, restoring, and helping the municipality to maintain a treasure that had almost been forgotten. 

Chuck’s greatest gift was friendship. Those he met in Bracebridge supported him with great kindness as illness took hold. He will be missed by his many friends, family, and chosen family, including Jessica, Ashley and Kim, daughters of Jan Megly, his first wife who predeceased him, and her second husband Dan Megly. He is survived by his brother-in-law David Cohen, widower of Linda, her daughters Danielle Bennett and Stacey Leitz, her husband Eric and their children Austin and Amanda, and by his cousins Charles Cadesky, Gail Posluns and husband Bernard Tellez. 

Chuck’s friends and family will hold a combination shiva/celebration of life at the Dewar residence, 27 Tyrrel Avenue, Toronto, on Sunday, June 2 at 3:30pm EST. The proceedings will be live streamed at https://us06web.zoom.us/i/81908418248 so distant friends may participate.  Donations in Chuck’s name may be made to any cause supporting living things “on the cutting edge wherever [hu]man and nature meet.” 

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, June 2, 2024

3:30 - 4:30 pm (Eastern time)

The proceedings will be live streamed at https://us06web.zoom.us/i/81908418248 so distant friends may participate.

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