Canton – Rosemary Green, 91, of Canton, IL, passed away peacefully at 3:24 AM on Friday, July 14, 2017 at Sunset Manor. She was born November 20, 1925 to Ralph and Carrie (Raker) Arnett, who preceded her in death.
At the age of 11, Rosemary had displayed unusual skills playing the piano, and was asked to become the regular pianist at the church of the Nazarene in Canton. Soon, her aunt and uncle, Wilmer “Bud” and Wilma Raker, formed the “Raker Twins” evangelistic team and immediately asked Rosemary to accompany them in a revival meeting being held in Flint, IL. Two summers later, when Rosemary was 13, she received an invitation to play the piano in the nightly services being held by 5 evangelists at a Friends church in Dayton, Ohio. While there, a local newspaper reporter came to the church to do an interview. The interview, along with her photo, appeared in the paper the next day.
When Rosemary was a junior in high school, serious illness struck, and she was unable to return for classes for an extended period of time. The following summer, Wilma Raker, began scheduling revival services independently of the “Raker Twins”, and invited Rosemary to join her as the pianist. For the next two and a half years, Rosemary traveled with Wilma playing for the revival meetings. At the end of that time, Rosemary felt she should return to school and finish her high school degree. She enrolled at the high school of Olivet Nazarene College, located in Bourbonnais, IL as a “special student” and finished the class work and received her high school diploma.
Rosemary met Jim Green, a music major and future husband, in the rotunda of the College Administration building in the fall of 1945. Rosemary had been one of the regular pianists for the chapel services at Olivet, so Jim asked if she would accompany him for a solo he was to doing in chapel that evening. She agreed, and that began a relationship which resulted in engagement (1946) and marriage August, 30, 1946.
Upon graduation from Olivet, Jim accepted the position of Minister of Music at First Church of the Nazarene in Louisville, KY. For two years, he and Rosemary held that position. In 1948, they made the decision to become full-time song evangelists in the in the Church of the Nazarene denomination. Because of Rosemary’s exceptional musical talents, and Jim’s unusual ability to lead choirs, they quickly became sought after by local churches, districts, and camp meeting gatherings in the 85 denominational districts in the U.S and Canada. Due to their rising popularity, invitations came from international gatherings in the Caribbean, Philippines, New Zealand, Africa, and others. The highlight of ministry came when Jim and Rosemary were asked to lead the worship music for the quadrennial meetings of the Church of the Nazarenes. These gatherings draw upwards of 30,000 delegates and guests from around the world. The Greens held the unique position of being involved with the music in these gatherings for over 30 years.
In the mid 1990’s, they returned to their home in Canton to retire. But, retirement was not to be just yet. The First Church of the Nazarene in Canton asked Jim to become their Minister of Music, and Rosemary to become the regular pianist (where she had begun her career). During that time, they also became involved in community organizations. Jim became director of the Canton Civic Singers, and Rosemary became the pianist. Rosemary also was asked to accompany the Kitchen Band. In the fall of 2005, Jim and Rosemary were chosen, due to their unusual career, as Parade Marshalls in the Canton Friendship Festival Parade. In 2007, they were honored by the First Church of the Nazarene in Canton, for 60 consecutive years of music ministry in the Church of the Nazarene denomination.
They had no children, but they had many that they called their “adopted children” across the nation. The latest love of Rosemary’s life was James Utt, age seven, which is the son of David (her nephew) and Amber Utt and was named after Rosemary’s husband, Jim. Other survivors include two sisters: Ruth Van Tine, Canton; and Sharon Utt, Canton: six nieces and nephews: Kevin Van Tine (Jan), Canton; Geron Van Tine (Brenda), Pekin, IL; Mark Van Tine (Terri), Canton; Sharilyn Domont (Larry), Kankakee, IL; Dana Power (Mike), Martinton, IL; and David Utt (Amber), Canton.
Special appreciation goes to the employees of Sunset Manor and Harbor Lights Hospice, who gave loving and untiring care to Rosemary.
Funeral services will be held at 1 PM on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at Sedgwick Funeral Homes & Crematory. Dr. Ted Lee will officiate. Burial will follow the services at Greenwood Cemetery in Canton. A visitation will be held from 6-8 PM on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at the funeral home. Memorials can be made to the First Church of the Nazarene in Canton. To make online condolences you may go to www.sedgwickfuneralhomes.com