BURKBURNETT (KFDX/KJTL) — Texoma’s beloved Santa’s legacy will live on at the newly-named Doug Green Playground.
For almost 30 years, Doug Green was the big man in red in Burkburnett and throughout the area until he died in 2018.
“For this to be standing here to honor him, he would be saying. ‘Oh I don’t need that. Oh no y’all better spend that money on something else,'” Green’s wife Glenda said.
That sentiment is on par with the personality of the Texoma philanthropist and resident Santa Claus, Charles “Doug” Green.
Green was in the U.S. Navy when he married his wife Glenda in 1969.
After feeding some sailors who couldn’t go home for Christmas, Green knew he wanted to give to others in that same situation.
“He said ‘if I ever have a home, nobody would be alone on Christmas or Thanksgiving because that was the worst feeling I ever had,'” Green said.
The Greens began a tradition of feeding military members everywhere they went and that is just the beginning of Doug’s generosity.
“Thanksgiving, we’d cook, deep fry 30 turkeys, invite all the military out that could come that didn’t have a home or a family to go to. They ate a meal and spent two or three days eating food because there was that much food,” Doug’s friend David Miller said.
Doug would go on to be Texoma’s Santa Claus for almost 30 years until his death in 2018.
Because of Doug’s heart for others, including raising money for several nonprofits like the Children’s Aid Society of West Texas, the city of Burkburnett renamed Permian Park to Doug Green Playground.
“I bring the grandkids up here usually every weekend when they stay with me. We come over and we see grandpa and we read the verse,” Green said.
“It means a lot to all of us to see him here and hope that people will remember him and how good he was.”
And officials with the Burkburnett Chamber of Commerce hope people remember as well.
“I didn’t personally know him but the minute I got the job, I heard about him. And I heard about all the great things he did. I would say his lasting legacy is to love and support the children of the community and that’s what he did,” Burkburnett Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laurianne Rodriguez said.
Taking care of the children and taking care of the community even after his death, as the legacy of Doug Green, Texoma’s Santa, lives on.
“Santa, we love you. Thank you,” Miller said.