PONTIAC, Mich. – A community was filled with shock and sadness Friday night over the death of Oakland County Health Officer Dr. Calandra Green.
Green was killed in an apparent murder-suicide at her Pontiac home.
Family, friends, and colleagues said she was a Pontiac and Oakland County community pillar.
Green was a mother, a daughter, and a member of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Pontiac.
Her pastor, Terrance J. Gowdy, said members, himself included, are in disbelief.
“To look out there (into the congregation) and know that I won’t see her again, it hurts,” said Gowdy.
He said he just saw Green Sunday.
She was set to be their speaker at their Women’s Day Service Sunday, May 21, but they’ve since canceled the service.
“I would just call her Dr. Calandra and just remind her, ‘We’re looking forward to Women’s Day,’ and that beautiful smile would light up,” Gowdy said. “And she said, ‘I’m excited too.’”
Less than a week later, Gowdy tries to process her murder while supporting a grieving congregation.
“We’re not trying to get over it,” Gowdy said. “We’re just trying to get through it.”
The same goes for Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter.
“The fact that she was murdered frankly leaves me angry,” said Coulter. “On top of the grief, the sadness, and the shock that I feel, I’m just really angry.”
He described her as “Wicked funny” and hard-working. She quickly became a critical part of the team as someone he would lean on for advice.
Coulter said Green was at Oakland University the night before her death to celebrate a colleague being honored.
“People talked to her, and everything appeared fine,” Coulter said. “She was her normal happy self.”
He believed her future was limitless, but the county leader is now finding ways to honor her life because her life was cut short.
“We won’t be able to replace Calandra,” Coulter said.
Before her time at Oakland County Health Department, Green worked at McLaren Oakland.
“While at McLaren Oakland, Calandra was a bright spot in the day for those who worked with her. During her time with us, her capacity to care for and serve the needs of patients demonstrated to others what it meant to truly be a caregiver. It was our privilege to know Calandra and work by her side, and our hearts go out to her family and all those who love her.”Oakland County Health Department Marketing Manager Dave Jones