Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Mary G. DiNubile, 79, educator and member of Philly’s politically prominent Green family

Mrs. DiNubile always wanted to teach, and she ended up being that and a Philadelphia public school principal.

Mary Green DiNubile
Mary Green DiNubileRead moreCourtesy of the family

Mary Green DiNubile, 79, of Chestnut Hill, a retired school principal, a judge's wife, and a member of Philadelphia's politically prominent Green family, died Thursday, July 19, at Chestnut Hill Hospital of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, which she had battled for three decades.

Mrs. DiNubile was the wife of Victor J. DiNubile Jr., a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge who served from 1981 to 2017. Although a registered Democrat, she helped her Republican husband win his first election to a seat on the bench.

"She was a lifelong Democrat despite the fact that my dad and his family are lifelong Republicans," said the couple's son, Victor DiNubile III. "People would ask how they could get along, and they would reply, Political party differences are the least of our problems."

Her father was the congressman William J. Green Jr., who was chairman of the Democratic City Committee at the time of his death in 1963.

"She was very proud of her father's achievements, having been raised in Kensington and rising all the way to be a trusted adviser and friend of John F. Kennedy," her son said.

She was the sister of former Philadelphia Mayor William J. Green III, who survives, as does her nephew, William J. Green IV, chair of the now-disbanded School Reform Commission and a city councilman at large in the mid- and late 2000s.

"She was a loyal supporter and advocate for all of her brother's campaigns, as well as her nephew's City Council campaign," her son said.

Born in Philadelphia, Mrs. DiNubile graduated in 1957 from Eden Hall, a high school that was run by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart in the Northeast section of the city.

She earned a bachelor's degree in education from Holy Family College before moving to Miami to teach Cuban children whose parents had fled the Fidel Castro regime.

"She was proud of that. She couldn't speak Spanish, but she got along," her husband said. "The children learned English."

She always aspired to become a teacher.

"She was the eldest daughter who helped her mother raise two younger brothers and took very naturally to nurturing and teaching," her son said.

In 1962, she returned from Miami to Philadelphia and became a teacher at Thomas Holme Elementary School and many others in the Philadelphia School District.

She met Victor DiNubile after friends of her parents and DiNubile's parents suggested they might make a good match. "In order to satisfy everybody, my parents agreed to meet for dinner. My dad took her to the old Falcon House in Delaware County," her son said.

The two married in 1966. While raising the couple's three children, Mrs. DiNubile stopped teaching, but resumed her career in the 1980s after the children were grown.

Mrs. DiNubile earned a master's degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked mostly from the district's main administration building on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, but served as acting principal at various times for the William H. Harrison and Gen. George McCall elementary schools.

"She filled in where an administrator was on leave or for ones that had a special need," her son said. She retired in 2002 due to declining health.

Mrs. DiNubile served on the board of directors of what is now the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Chestnut Hill.

She enjoyed spending time with family and friends, reading, and traveling with her husband to Ireland, Italy and Spain.

Mrs. DiNubile had a dry sense of humor but could be stern if a situation demanded it. She was a selfless caregiver to her own mother and older relatives on her husband's side of the family.

"In the end, she was the recipient of terrific, loving caretaking from my dad for the last several years of her life," her son said. "She had a very wonderful, peaceful, and content last several years because of him."

In addition to her husband, brother, and son, Mrs. DiNubile is survived by daughters Marybeth Barber and Suzanne DiNubile; three grandchildren; brothers Michael and Patrick Green; a sister, Anne Green Michals; and many nieces and nephews. A brother, Dennis Green, died earlier.

A visitation starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, will be followed by a 10:30 memorial Mass at Our Mother of Consolation Church, 9 E. Chestnut Hill Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19118. Burial will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to the church at the address above.