James Greenwood

Obituary of James Bahnson Greenwood

Long-time Eugene resident, pianist and teacher, Jim Greenwood died at home February 13, 2023. Jim was born June 7, 1950 at Nellis Air Force Base in North Las Vegas, Nevada to parents James Bahnson Greenwood and Eva Marie Greenwood (nee Ireland). He graduated in 1971 with a BA in Piano Performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and went on to receive his Masters Degree in 1973 from Kansas State University. In 1973, Jim moved to Eugene, OR to pursue a doctorate in Piano Performance from the University of Oregon. 

Jim began his career as a pianist at age 12, playing at his home church in North Las Vegas. He served as a church musician for much of his career, most recently at Trinity United Methodist Church. He started his teaching career at Lane Community College in 1977, where he was a beloved teacher to both music majors and enthusiasts alike. There was high demand for Jim’s skills as an accompanist for many solo and ensemble performers; he had an uncanny ability to make us all sound even better than we were. As music director, Jim put together excellent ensembles for many local musical theater productions, including the Eugene Festival of Musical Theatre, Treehouse Dinner Theatre, Actor’s Cabaret of Eugene, Lord Leebrick Theatre, and the Very Little Theatre. With his long-time friend and colleague Ron Bertucci, Jim put together the Lane Summer Musical Theater series which ran successfully for five years and was a great collaborative joy for him.

Jim was a lifelong sports fan, and though he didn’t consider himself much of an athlete, he was a fielding asset for Part of the Problem, one of City of Eugene’s venerable rec league softball teams. He greatly enjoyed watching the Ducks football and basketball teams, the Eugene Emeralds and his son AC play football with the South Eugene High School Axemen. And perhaps due to his Las Vegas heritage, he took great delight in betting on every kind of sport imaginable, even golf.

Jim inherited his love of gardening from his mother. He had a plot at Amazon Community Garden for many years, and later enjoyed gardening in his small plot at home. Planting and harvesting potatoes with his grandson J.B. was an annual tradition.

He is survived by his wife Jennifer Sellers, sister Martha Hutchison, brother Charles Greenwood, his sons Jamie Johnson and A.C. Greenwood, daughter Morgan Greenwood and step-daughter Meredith Elliott, grandchildren Olivia and Emma Johnson, J.B. Greenwood III, Gavin Dickman, Leo and Wren Elliott and numerous nieces and nephews.

The celebration of Jim's life will be Saturday, February 18 at Ragozzino Performance Hall, Lane Community College, at 3:00pm; reception to follow. The service will also be streaming at http://lanecc.zoom.us/j/5414630000

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the “James B. Greenwood Memorial Music Scholarship” care of the Lane Community College Foundation.




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