Green, James Paul, age 94, passed away peacefully on May 16, 2023 at his home at Humber
Heights Retirement Village in Etobicoke, Ontario.
Paul was born on April 15, 1929 in Sydney, NS to Brigadier Albert and Ada Green, who were
Salvation Army officers. His early years were spent in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.
Although the family moved frequently, Paul retained a fondness throughout his life for the
Maritimes, especially Newfoundland, the birthplace of his father.
Paul was a natural athlete and musician, playing basketball at school, and euphonium (a low
brass instrument) at church, where opportunities for music making were plentiful. He attended
the University of Toronto, where he graduated with a B.Mus. degree in 1954. He later earned a
M.Mus and Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.
Paul taught at T.L. Kennedy Secondary School in Mississauga from 1955-65, where he led the
music department, and took his concert band on frequent trips. He also served as the
bandmaster at the Salvation Army Dovercourt Citadel Band from 1963-65. He joined the faculty
of music at the University of Western Ontario (Western University), where he was professor of
music education from 1965 to 1995, serving as the head of the music education department
from 1969 to 1979.
In 1958, he met the first love of his life, Sarah Ann Besau, and they had three children together,
Rebecca, Gretchen, and Amy. The family was involved in many music activities in London, and
enjoyed spending time in the Adirondacks. When Sarah was diagnosed with ALS, Paul became
her dedicated caretaker, and helped her make an award-winning CBC radio documentary. After
her passing in 2003, he married Muriel Adeline Richards. Like Sarah, Muriel was an
accomplished musician. Paul and Muriel were able to share their love of music, travel, and
family, enjoying 17 wonderful years of marriage from 2004 until her death in 2021.
Throughout his life, Paul enjoyed athletic activities, including tennis, cross-country skiing,
swimming, and he was an avid walker into his late 80s. Many will remember him as a serious,
reserved man, with strong convictions, but he also had a “punny” sense of humour, and loved to
play games, and dress up with grandchildren.
For Paul, music education was both a vocation and an avocation–he enjoyed composing and
arranging music for brass bands, and published the popular series of arrangements Solos for
Schools (with his colleague, Kenneth Bray). He delighted in frequent invitations to adjudicate for
Kiwanis Music festivals, which took him across the country. With co-author Nancy Vogan, he
wrote the book Music Education in Canada: a historical account (1991). Paul was also involved
in revising music curriculums for the Ontario Ministry of Education, promoting the concept of
comprehensive musicianship in music education. Teaching over 1500 students in the course of
his career, he influenced a generation of music teachers.
Paul will be dearly missed by his three daughters and their spouses: Rebecca (Leo), Gretchen
(Brent), and Amy (Suzie), as well as step-son Martin Richards (Holly) and step-daughter Lori
His grandchildren Sarah and Madeline Cozad, Simone and Adam Livshits, Will and Maura Tepperman, Lt. Emily Newbury (Kyron) and Melissa Richards; and Evie and Freddi Young will treasure his memory.
He was predeceased by three of his four siblings, John David, Shirley (Shanks), and Albert
Green. He leaves behind his sister, Ruth Eason, as well as 7 nieces and nephews, who
remember him fondly.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer Society of Ontario
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); or the ALS Society of Canada (
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The family wishes to thank the caring and attentive staff of Humber Heights for supporting Paul,
especially in his final days.
A memorial service in celebration of Paul’s life will take place at Ward Funeral Home, Weston Chapel, on Saturday, October 7th at 1:00pm.
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