OBITUARY

John Kevin Green

March 12, 1969November 3, 2020
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John Kevin Green, affectionately known as Jay, was born March 12, 1969 in Los Angeles, California. Jay was the third child of John and Oreta Green’s three children, and the only boy. Jay’s mom, dad and two big sisters were enthusiastic about his arrival. Born into a family built on faith, Jay grew up under the wings of his family and Normandie Church of Christ, where he was surrounded by extended family and church family members who loved on him and kept him in line. He was mischievous, and full of laughter. He had a laugh that could send him running around a room in a fit. He was full of energy, fire and creativity and he was an amazingly sensitive and kind soul. Jay was in the first kindergarten class of the newly formed Normandie Christian School when it started on Pepperdine’s (Los Angeles) campus. Jay attended Portola Junior High School and went on to attend and graduate from Reseda High School. During those school-age years he played for the tennis team and was awarded Most Valuable Player. Tennis remained his favorite sport throughout his life.

Even in those young childhood years, Jay had already discovered he had a love and gift for singing. He and his young comrades formed the singing group Joy, Jr. From the age of six, Jay was already performing solos for his elementary school. He always seemed to be surrounded by friends who shared his love for singing which seamlessly led him toward singing in ensembles and small groups. Those experiences sparked his fire for music which became a life-long love affair. He became a master at harmony and blending, not to mention his solo prowess, which led to his involvement in an array of groups in the Los Angeles area, including Epiphany, Agape, Reflections, The Christianaires, Psallo-A Praise and Worship Team, Jay Green and Friends and Unique (based in Northern California).

After graduating from high school in 1986, Jay attended El Camino College. Inspired by his 1988 trip to the National Youth Conference, however, he followed his music passion and newly formed friendships to Southwestern Christian College after being offered a music scholarship. Excited to leave home for the first time, Jay jumped at the chance to spread his wings. While at SWCC, Jay’s love for music only flourished. He became a member and President of the famed SWCC Acapella Chorus under the direction of Veronica Williams. As a freshman, he became part of the six-member ensemble, SEXTET. At SWCC, he auditioned and was chosen to be a first tenor in the school’s elite touring ensemble, SUMMER TOUR (89-90). With Summer Tour, Jay was renowned for his rendition of “In My Father’s House”. It was Jay’s exposure at Southwestern Christian College that led him to attract the attention of one of his vocal mentors, George Pendergrass, which led to an opportunity to audition as a back-up singer for a nationally known group, Acapella, based in Nashville, Tennessee. That led to Jay being chosen to be a lead singer with Acapella Company’s sister group the Acapella Vocal Band (AVB) and a four-year relationship with the Acapella Company. While with AVB, Jay recorded five group albums and six series albums, and wrote/co-wrote and recorded over thirty songs. They toured across the nation and internationally including Russia, Germany, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. More importantly he formed life-long friendships and ministered to thousands around the world through music.

In 1995, Jay returned to Los Angeles, and continued his career as a singer, songwriter, and producer. Jay’s original songs have been featured on several independent R&B gospel albums as well as on national urban radio and Television. In 2000, a song he co-wrote, “We Got the Night” was featured on America’s #1 Soap Opera, General Hospital and in 2004, he along with his co-writer, C. Chill, was awarded the Heineken/ASCAP Grant Award for best R&B song entry in the state of California. Jay also enjoyed demo work and vocal arranging for various production companies. Under his own production company, Mission Entertainment Group, Jay produced six uniquely diverse album projects including, “Great Sunday Morning”, , “Save the Children”, two Psallo albums (“Psallo” and “The Journey”), “I Acknowledge You” by artist Lorraine Spear, “The Collection” - A limited edition Summer Tour 89-90 greatest hits, “My Voice, My Songs – Anthology Vol 1” , “Thaba Jabula (Happy Day)” – a South African and American Gospel fusion album. Jay also executive produced and wrote the song “Save the Children” and produced the video and concert “Save the Children” – A Song for Haiti. During this period, Jay also served as the worship leader and music minister for Centinela Valley church of Christ, where his dad ministered, lifting the congregation to praise in so many moments of joy experienced in God’s presence.

Eventually, Jay returned to school to pursue another one of his special talents, Graphic Design. He won the “Tools for the Trade” Award for being the top student in the Visual Design Program at LA Trade Tech College. After graduating in 2015, he pursued his passion for bringing beauty and design to others by establishing his own Graphic Design business, called JG Designs. He was always excited to use his eye for beauty to give others joy. At every family gathering he took such care to make his family feel special, from paying attention to every small aesthetic detail for birthdays or holidays, to making delicious meals or desserts, all to make others feel good and show his love. With his sense of style and demand for excellence he elevated everyone around him from average to extraordinary, prodding others to use their talents, time, and creativity, fearlessly as he did.

Unfortunately, he did not have much time to practice his new-found profession of graphic design, before having his life altered by major illnesses. Although his body may have given up, his soul never did. Until the end, with everything in him, he strived to be there for his loved ones, to participate in their lives, to share his heart, to lend a listening and compassionate ear, to share his quick wit, teasing sarcasm and wonderful laugh, but mostly to show his faith in the God that never left him and brought him through every phase of his life.

John Kevin Green (Jay), was preceded in death by his father, John B. Green, Jr., and leaves to mourn his death, his beloved mother, Oreta Green, his two sisters, Laura Thomas and Lorna Bukasa, his brothers-in-law, Darryl Thomas and Peter Bukasa, his nieces, Jenean and Larell Thomas and his nephew, Daniel Bukasa, along with a host of other relatives and friends into whose lives he brought joy, music, friendship, laughter and love. So, we say to Jay, be free, our dear songbird.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Jay's Words To Us....

As many times as I begged and pleaded for God to take away my pain, I now understand the concept of waiting on God. Why? Well because through spiritual awareness and study, I see now there is purpose in the suffering and pain. Going through it is our gateway to surrender. The circumstances are out of our hands. We're not in control. Suffering through pain and agony especially for long periods of time, allowed me the opportunity to figure this out. There is a popular Christian contemporary song called "I Don't Mind Waiting" that I would always come back to l, just to calm my spirit. I had to learn how to not mind waiting on God. When I was stuck in bed for years, or even when I had to stay in the hospital for two months, weak, no energy, losing weight and muscle mass, losing motivation to do anything, very depressed and lonely, sad and angry, I learned to wait on God. These moments always harken me back to a song I learned in college taken from Isaiah 40:31, "They That Wait."

Isaiah 40:31-1 "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Unconditional Love

God's love is unconditional, and it's not based on feelings or emotions. He loves us because He is love. He created us to have a loving relationship with Him, and He sacrificed His own Son (who also willingly died for us) to restore that relationship. Through it all, His love was there. He remains the same. Through sickness, disease, bad choices, confusion and crisis of identity, God’s love was there and available.

The Bible tells us that "God is Love" (1 John 4:8) and John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

When I think of unconditional love, many people come to mind. My parents of course, my sisters, nieces and nephew and a handful of close friends. I love them no matter what. Unconditionally. Can you believe there is someone who loves us even more than that? It’s a love my dad now knows and is experiencing firsthand in his spirit life, and I can only imagine how beautiful that must be. Temporary things fade away, but God’s love is everlasting. Well I certainly haven't learned all the answers, but God has revealed some important lessons to me. I can't express enough how grateful I am to my parents for introducing me to a relationship with Christ. It is the single most important relationship in my life. I can't imagine navigating through all my transformative experiences without Him. Through debilitating disease, crippling identity crisis, and unbearable pain and depression, my only hope was in Christ. When I had no one else, I had Christ. A personal prayer to myself is this: “I ask that I’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that I will be filled entirely with the fullness of God.”

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Final Flight

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free, I’m following the path God laid for me. I took his hand when I heard his call, I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day, To laugh, to love, to work, to play. Tasks left undone must stay that way, I’ve found that peace at the end of the day.

If my parting has left a void, Then fill it with remembered joy. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, Ah, yes, these things too I will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. My Life’s been full, I savoured much, Good friends, good times, a loved one’ touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief, Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your heart and share with me, God wanted me now, He set me free.

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John Kevin Green

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Earnestine Denson

November 22, 2020

The smile, Jay had the most warming smile. Whenever he greeted and hugged you. My biggest memory was picking him and Lorna up at their bus stop on their way home from school. And taken them home 🏠on my way home. He attended NCS and Church with our children. Singing was his life, a gift God gave him and he used it to minister to other. His CD Great Sunday I listen to a lot. His mom and dad was a big g part of our life. Just a loving Christian family. We love ❤️ them dearly. Jay sweet rest and keep singing RIP. Family be of comfort and know God and friends are here for you.

Anthony Williams

November 21, 2020

Jay was definitely a fabulous person and singer. I met him at Southwestern Christian College as I managed the group he was in called Restoration. Jay and the group helped me arranged the song “A Higher Degree.” So much talent but always displayed humility. I definitely going to miss his encouragement and joy for singing for the Lord‼️

Joyce Green

November 20, 2020

Dear Oreta and family:
We were watching the memorial tribute to Jay, and wanted to express our sincere appreciation for all the lovely songs and tributes. Jay was a remarkable and gifted young man, and we're certain that God will place a golden pen in his hand to continue his writing in heaven and add his voice to the angelic choir😍It was a peaceful and uplifting service, and we just pray that God continues to manifest His love throughout your family. One day we'll have a big reunion in our new home with the Lord, and Jay, and John, and everybody who went on before us..we trust in the promises of God🙏 Much love to you. all,
Joyce and Jimmy

Dana Thomas

November 20, 2020

Dear Family, our hearts mourn the loss of our dear Brother Jay; we celebrate the love he had for all, sharing God’s Grace through his beautiful voice, generous heart, and gentle spirit. Rest In Peace dear Jay, Rest In Peace...God Bless...Dana and Dianne Thomas.

Jonathan Archie

November 20, 2020

You were a true and amazing friend. I'm so thankful to God that we met. Take your rest now and I'll see you in the morning!

David Wilson

November 20, 2020

Music plays in the background of the high and low points of our lives. God used John’s gifts to sooth in discomfort, praise in happiness and point to Jesus in darkness. From Agape to Summer Tour to AVB and beyond, he’s on the playlist for the soundtrack of our Christian journey.

Thanks John
Summer Tour 89’ - 90’

Delicia Smith

November 19, 2020

I remember as a child, seeing Jay, Sharon Harris and Crystal Bowers, singing during a program, after Sunday morning worship service, at the Figueroa Church of Christ. The beautiful harmony that flowed from their mouths, IMMEDIATELY struck my soul. I remember his smooth, tenor vocals just seemed to flow naturally through him. It was so beautiful,
effortless and warm, like a cozy blanket that comforted your spirit. I knew that day, that I wanted sing like that and have that powerful affect on those who honored me with their presence, to listen.

Many years later, when I joined Psallo, I was not only elated to be a part of a Praise And Worship Team, whose goal was to minister to many, through song, but to be in the presence of the singers that I grew up and admired. One of them, was dear Jay.

Jay had the beautiful ability to see something in you and made you feel so comfortable to express that gift, without fear. He brought the very best out of you and made you discover something that you didn't know you had inside of you. Jay also had great faith and strength. Throughout his illness, he became even more creative and driven towards expressing his God given gifts, whether it was singing, writing, producing, arranging or Graphic Design. He inspired me to be my best and that you cannot be lukewarm with your faith and gifts from God! You give your all with great joy and fearlessness.

I am going to miss our deep and HILARIOUS conversations together, filled with his infectious laugh. That look that he gave you when he was thinking of a mischievous thought, that you knew and could read from his face; that burst you into tears. And I will carry the many years of he, I and many others that were honored to record with him on many of his amazing projects.

My walk with Jay began, meeting one of the legendary singers in the Gospel and world, but ended up becoming my big brother and friend.

May God continue to bless and heal the entire Green Family.

Randy Thomas

November 19, 2020

As youth at Normandie Church of Christ, we served together as friends, family, and members in the various youth organizations: The Whirly Birds, Jet Cadets, Alpha Teens, and the Omegas. The group of us were blessed to build a spiritual foundation that continues today. God bless you Jay, we'll see each other again when we all get home...

C. Chill

November 18, 2020

I wanted to express my sincere condolences to the extended Green family. Jay was one of the first artists I signed back in 2000 when my company, Rollin' Dice Productions, was launched. He was a pleasure to work with and our collaborations were always a fun and gratifying artistic process. He brought joy, skills, intelligence, humor, and his amazing voice to every writing or studio session we had. I'm proud of the work we did together, notably Jay's EP title "So Many Things" and later "Loving on the Line," which we co-wrote and went on to earn an ASCAP/Heineken Award for best R&B song.

He was one of the sweetest and kindest persons I've had a chance to meet and he'll be sorely missed. I admired his courage as he took on one battle after another and find a little solace in knowing he no longer has to deal with these physical strains. If there was ever someone for whom the sentence "singing with the angels" applies, it is truly Jay. I have no doubt that's what he's doing this very moment.

With love and light to all those reading this,

C.Chill

Wendy Howard

November 18, 2020

We have knew each other over half of our lives and we grew so close. I still remember the today you walked thru the front door in Paris, TN and something in my heart knew we would be special friends. The Spirit let me know that before you even said a word. Through all of the years we did a lot. We have laughed together, cried together, traveled the world and sang together, been serious, crazy and stupid. We have been thru sickness and surgeries, deaths and life coming into our families but most importantly we have always shared the most intimate thoughts and feelings with one another. We do stick to each other closer than glue. As Proverbs says, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” And that brother my friend was you. You always listened to me and the crazy stories from my past, my present and my hopes for the future. We normally think of blood being thicker than water but I think the Lord knew of our upcoming friendship when he included this verse in His word. I often called you a modern day Job and show us all what fighting for everyday of your life means. You fought and wore the armor of the Lord well. I’m was so honored to be one of your closest confidants and friends. I will think of our times and memories fondly and I eagerly await the day I see you again. Until then, keep a spot open next to you for me. All my love, Wendy

FROM THE FAMILY

Here comes the boy!

FROM THE FAMILY
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