James Lee Green

September 6, 2018

James Lee Green, formally of Clare, quietly passed away at the age of 56 at his home in Arlington Virgina in the early morning hours of August 23rd, 2018 with his wife Sylvia by his bedside.

Having been diagnosed with Glioblastoma in the spring of 2017 shorty before his fathers’ death, Jim would fight the insidious disease courageously for the next 15 long months.

9-7-18 OBIT GreenNo words can describe the pain of his passing.  No words can explain the unending want for his return.  No words can hold enough weight to paint a picture of the husband, brother and uncle and best friend who we knew and loved as Jim, but we will try.  Always patient and kind, caring and respectful, intelligent and funny.  Jim always wanted to know how your day was going or wanted to know if he could help you in any way.

With a gifted ear he could listen to your words, but sense your troubles and frustrations.  And with a gifted mind, he would give you love and encouragement to lift you up when your world was down.
Jim was born the youngest of three children to K.C and Betty Green on September 13th, 1961.  He graduated from Clare High School in the late spring of 1980.

Growing up in his childhood home on Schaeffer Drive in Clare, Jim developed his lifelong love for motorcycles, music, snowmobiles and airplanes. Jim continued all these passions into his adult life becoming an expert rider and race instructor frequenting the local race tracks in the Wahington D.C. area with either his Honda F2 or his Kawasaki Ninja. Along with his ever present friends Ralph and Soren, Jim loved spending the weekends riding with the guys through many a twisting two lane through the Appalachian countryside on his red Ducati Multistrata. He truly cherished their camaraderie and always longed for the next ride.

Upon entering his early high school days, he took up photography for the school year book.  Jim would go on to join the school band and chose the saxophone as his instrument.  It was in his teens that he developed a talent to play the banjo along with a comics’ sense of humor that would define him personally into the next 40 years.

With the guidence of band instructor Mr. Ken Feneley and Jims parents working extra hours to pay for his new found interest he was able to purchase his first bass guitar and amp, becoming the bass guitarist for the Clare High School Jazz Band, which eventually earned him the honor of “Jazzman of the Year” in 1980.

Following high school, with his beloved black Music Man Stingray bass in hand, he would play in bands throughout the tri city area continuing to grow as a musician.

When the snows of winter came to mid Michigan, his family spent time sledding down their hill until there was enough snow to snowmobile.  Jim’s dad would be the driving force for his fondness for snowmobiling, mechanics and the outdoors.

His dad purchased a Skidoo Olympic in the mid 60’s and as a little boy Jim enjoyed the cold months riding with his dad or his brother until coming inside to warm by the fireplace.  Once able to drive alone, he couldn’t wait to get home from school and ride the trails around the fields and ponds behind their country home or ride his Honda on the frozen Lake Shamrock with his fried Ed Rousseau. It was only after 30 years of being away from home living in Arlington Virginia that Jim again restarted his interest in snowmobiling.

Enjoying his new passion, vintage snowmobile restoration, he began to work on his “dream project”, a 1973 Arctic Cat El Tigre. Rebuilt from the ground up in his brownstone garage in the DC area, Jim completed his prize winning project and trailored it to Traverse City where he would come every winter to spend time with his family and snowmobile with his brother Mark, sister in law Lynn and niece Alison.

Whenever Jim came to Michigan, he would always set aside precious time to catch up on his family and friends.  Returning to Arlington would not be complete or seem right without visiting the Rousseau family, his Aunt Elaine, his long time friend Beth, his sister Lori and her family his Uncle Lene and Aunt Juanita along with his brother Mark and Lynn and Alison.

As a young boy Jim was fascinated with airplanes and the history of flight.  He spent countless hours building model airplanes with his dad at his side along with flying tethered model airplanes at the school parking lot.  Little did he realize that his boyhood fascination aviation would eventually turn into a lifelong career.  not long after graduating Jim and best friend Ed Rousseau decided to pursue their shared passion of aviation and enrolled at Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa Oklahoma Aviation and then continued at Kirkland Community College.

With a degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology in the winter of 1982,  Jim realized his dream to get his private pilot licensed and proudly became an airman in1985 and followed that accomplishment up in 1990 by becoming certified in parachute jumping.

Jim began his career as a general aircraft mechanic in the early 1980’s and would end his career as Chief of Aircraft Maintenance in 2017.

He was recognized within the corporate aviation industry as an extremely knowledgeable aircraft mechanic and was the “go to guy” when a consultants expertise was needed. Whether it concerned airframe, onboard avionics, electrical and hydraulics or trouble shooting analysis, Jim was always happy to help solve the problem.

Jims resume read like a whos’ who for those wanting to be employed by some the best within the corporate aviation sector: Aero Services, Garrett Applied Signal Aerospace, MCI/Worldcom Corporate Flight Op, AOL/Time Warner Corporate Flight Op, E Trade Financial Flight Corporate Flight Op, Exxon Mobile Corporate Flight Op, ICFC In-Flight Creww Connections & Landmark Aviaion and finally General Dynamics Mission Systems.

Jim maintaned as well as traveled the world aboard the finest aircraft money could by; Bombardier, Dassault Falcon, Gulfstream, Cessna Citation, Sikorsky, Learjet, Westwind, Sabreliner and Lockhead Jetstar.

Jim possessed all of the skills and attributes nessesary to excell within the corporate aviation world: hard work, patience, willingness to learn, attention to detail, time management assessment, supervision of maintenace and records as well as budget analysis.

Always holding strong to the upbringing his mother and father taught their children while growing up at their home in Clare, “treat people how you would want to be treated”  and “stand up for what you believe in”, Jim never boasted or bragged of his accomplishments.

And even though he may had been hundreds and many times thousands of miles away, he always found time to call home and ask “whats for supper?”

In 1999 Jim married Arlington Virginia native Sylvia Neukirk. Together they loved to travel near and abroad.  They loved to spend  an evening attending a variety of music event at the nearby Kennedy Center or entertaining friends at their home often dining on one of Sylvia’s newest cuisines.

Jim was predeceased by his mother Betty Green and father K.C.Green.

Jim leaves behind his wife Sylvia of Arlington Virginia as well as his brother Mark (Lynn) Green of Traverse City and their daughter Alison.

Jim is also survived by his sister Lori (Ron) Moline of Farwell,  Nephew Lonnie and (Rachel) Moline and their children Bennett and Weslie.  Nephew Shawn and (Heather) Moline and their children Isaac,Leah James and Nora.

Niece Kayla (Terry) Warner and their children Landon, Grayson and Tyson.

The family would like to shine a light on those who dearly loved Jim. They held Jim’s hand and our hearts the last 15 months of his life: Clay and Stacy of Arlington Virginia; Ila and Ed Rouseau from Clare; Ed Rouseau from Oklahoma; Kent and Jackie Randall from Clare.

We are deeply indebted to Dr. Christie at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington Virginia for his medical expertise,  Joy for providing excellent hospice care resources and the staff at Home Instead, who provided 24 hour loved, care and dignity for Jim.

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