INDIAN TRAIL, NC - "Stand by the river, Lord, and hold my trembling hand. Cradle me, sweet Jesus, from the cold, dark, sinking sand. This is one trip I can't take alone. I'm kinda anxious to make it home, so stand by the river wait for me." Those words sang night after night by Tony Greene and his wife, TaRanda, became a reality at 4:25pm on Tuesday, September 28. The beloved Gospel singer died in a Charlotte, NC, hospital, surrounded by his family members and numerous close friends. He was 41 years of age.
The popular singer and humorist was hospitalized shortly after what would be his final appearance at the 2010 National Quartet Convention in Louisville, KY, in September. Tony suffered an infection, which led to the loss of his kidney, the collapse of his lungs and then eventually overcame his entire body.
After suffering from End Stage Renal Disease for over five years, in 2007, doctors discovered that Tony's kidney was working at a very low rate. In the summer of 2008, Tony's kidneys bagan to completely fail. Finally in the late summer of 2009, Tony's wife was cleared to donate her kidney to her husband. Throughout the past year, Tony suffered numerous complications, resulting in multiple hospital stays; however, he remained committed to his work as a concert promoter and to the musical ministry he co-founded over 30 years ago with his father, brother and sister.
Survivors include Tony's wife of nine years, TaRanda; two daughters, Isabella and Jocelyn; his mother, Carolyn; brother Ronnie and wife Nancy; brother Tim and wife Amy; sister Kim and husband Dean; and many extended family members. He was preceeded in death by his father, Everette.
The family will receive friends on Monday, October 4 from 4:00pm until 7:00pm at the First Baptist of Indian Trail in Indian Trail, NC. Funeral services will be held immediately following the visitation at 7:00pm. A graveside service will be held in Boone, NC, at Westview Baptist Church Cemetery on Tuesday, October 5 at 1:00pm. Prior to the graveside service, the body will lie in state from 10:00am until 12:00 noon at Hampton's Funeral Home in Boone.
The family thanks everyone for their thoughts, prayers and concerns and asks that they continue to be lifted up during this challenging time. "To say that we are hurting and mourning would be an understatement," a family spokesperson stated. "We're still in shock, and nothing feels real. Tony was an amazing man: husband, son, brother, father and friend. We take comfort in knowing that he sits next to both the heavenly Father, of whom he has sung about, and his earthly father. Thank you all so much for prayers as we continue to ‘Hold On'."
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Tony Greene Medical Fund, PO Box 3046, Indian Trail, NC 28079. Cards and letters of encouragement may be sent to the Greene family at the same address.