August 8, 2011

Hester P. Green, 91, a former head nurse at St. Elizabeths Hospital who later supervised the psychiatric unit at the old D.C. General Hospital, died July 3 at Capital Hospice in Arlington County. She had complications from a subdural hematoma.

Mrs. Green came to Washington in 1950 and became one of the first African American head nurses at St. Elizabeths.

After living in Germany, where her husband was stationed with the Army, she returned to St. Elizabeths in 1955 as head nurse supervisor.

She transferred to D.C. General in the late 1950s and retired in 1969 as supervisor of the psychiatric unit.

Hester Donaldson Prophet was born in Okolona, Miss., and graduated from high school in St. Louis. She received an associate’s degree from what is now Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis and went on to receive a registered nursing degree from that city’s old Homer G. Phillips School of Nursing in 1942.

During World War II, Mrs. Green was one of the first black female commissioned officers in the Army Nurse Corps. She received additional nursing education at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kan., the University of Pittsburgh, George Washington University and the University of Maryland.

She was a member of several nursing organizations, including the Chi Eta Phi sorority, and of the Eastern Star fraternal group.

Mrs. Green lived in Southeast Washington for more than 60 years and was a member of Hughes Memorial United Methodist Church in the District. She directed the Sunday school program for 40 years, founded the church’s nursing unit and was a member of the board of trustees. She was also a member of the senior choir and held other leadership positions at the church.

For more than three decades, Mrs. Green was a poll worker in Southeast Washington.

Her husband of 54 years, retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Green, died in 1998.

Survivors include two sons, Charles Green Jr. of Memphis and James Green of Washington, and a sister.

Matt Schudel has been an obituary writer at The Washington Post since 2004.
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