James Alfred Stevens, 81, precious husband of 60 years to Rosamond Prussmann Stevens of North Haven passed away at CT Hospice in Branford on March 19, 2009. He was born in Boston, MA on January 12, 1928 to the late Samuel and Elsie Withrow Stevens. Besides his wife, Jim is survived by his two daughters and their husbands, Melodie and Ronald Penton of North Haven and Maribeth and John McEwan of Meredith, NH. Grandchildren, Michael Penton and his wife Kerry of Hartford, Timothy Penton and his wife Maria of Wallingford, Jinny Penton of North Haven, Richard and James Galbraith of Austin, TX, and Amanda Hayden of Lexington, MA. Great-grandchildren, Abby, Taft, and Luke Penton, Joshua, Chloe, and Zula Galbraith, and Allison and Molly Rusgrove. Predeceased by a son, Richard D. Stevens and a granddaughter, Kathleen Hayden. After high school Jim joined the U.S. Navy where he was a Chaplains Assistant. He then continued his education at the New England Conservatory of Music where he graduated in 1950 with a Bachelors in Education. In 1962 he graduated with a Masters in Education from Bridgewater College. Jim had a love and appreciation for music that started at the young age of three when he began studying piano and then the organ at age seven. He used his teaching skills to musically educate thousands of students while holding the position of Music Supervisor in Bourne, Sandwich, and Mashpee, MA. He also taught music in Falmouth, MA at the Cape Cod Conservatory of Music and Art and was a private piano and organ teacher for over 40 years. Other experiences included Director of Lawrence High School Band, founder of Lawrence High School A Cappella Choir, Organ and Choir Director at numerous churches in Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, and in North Haven at St. John's Episcopal Church where he has been a member for the last seven years. In 1957 he revived the Falmouth Town Band, volunteering his time and talent. Jim gave an organ recital at the Old North Church in Boston and Served as Pianist for the Novikov Russian-American Ballet Theater. In 1985 he was recognized by the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce and the MA State Legislature for contributions to the Musical Life of the town of Falmouth. He was a 50 year member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Marine Lodge AF & AM where he was a past Master. He served on the State of Massachusetts Mason Degree Team and was a past High Priest of the Royal Arch Chapter. Jim and his family lived in Falmouth, MA for over 50 years before moving to North Haven in 2002. A Memorial Service will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church, 3 Trumbull Place, North Haven on Sunday, April 5th at 2:30 p.m. BEECHER & BENNETT 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden in care of arrangements. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Jim's memory may be sent to St. John's Episcopal Church, 3 Trumbull Place, North Haven, CT 06473.

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  1. Dear family of Mr. Stevens. Mr. Stevens was a wonderful choir director in Falmouth at First Congregational on the Village Green. He contributed to the first choir/chorus singing experience of my siblings, Debbie, David, Mark, Paul and myself. I’m sorry about your loss. Love, Becky on behalf of the Pendleton Family

  2. Dear Maribeth and Family, I was saddened to hear of your loss. Your Dad, husband and grandfather was a special person. My heart goes out to all of you.

  3. Dear Maribeth, We have never met your beloved father. From what we just read about his life, we understand he was a person that was unique and shared his love for music with people of all ages. To do so is a gift – to share and love is so important to create a world that is trustful and beatiful. God bless your Father. Keep all the great memories in your mind. Tor and Anna Oslo, Norway

  4. dear mrs stevens i remember mr stevens well from when i attended school he was a very talented and jolly kind of guy and i can still see him in his white shirt and tie and suit jacket. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

  5. Dear Mrs. Stevens and Family, I’m very sorry for your loss. Your husband, father, grandfather, was a very good man. I always liked him. I was never very good in music but he made it fun! I think he touched more lives than people realize. Mrs. Stevens do you remember the halloween he made us kids sing a song before he would give us candy? I’ll never forget it! We laughed so much and he made us do it! What a kick he must have got out of watching preteens try to sing while giggleing the whole time! He will be missed.

  6. Dear Roz & family, So sorry to hear of your beloved Jim’s passing. He was a very special & caring person with so much talent. We did so many shows together and I never had a concern because with Jim at the piano all would be great – and it always was. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Fondly, Elaine

  7. Dear Roz, Melodie and Maribeth – How very saddened and sorry we were to learn of the loss of Mr. Stevens – my very dear and favorite teacher at Falmouth Intermediate School. He was instrumental in fostering my love for musical theatre, and wrote me the reference letter that helped me to get my first job in the box office of the Gilbert and Sullivan Players. Who knows – if I hadn’t known Mr. Stevens, perhaps there would now be no College Light Opera Company. Thank you for honoring CLOC with memorial gifts in his name. With love always – Ursula

  8. Dear Roz, Ralph and I have fond memories of Jim. Ralph first came to know Jim when he played in the orchestra for the theater Guild. I think it was Pajame Game. Later he asked Ralph to play the violin at midnight mass at Christmas which he did for many years. Jim asked Ralph to join the senior choir as a bass and Ralph has been a member ever since, It is one of the joys of his life. Our children all remember Mr Stevens and said what a nice man he was. He really did foster a love and appreciation of music even to those of us with no talent. I know that all who knew him but especially his family will dearly miss him. Martha vaccaro

  9. Deepest condolences are extended to the Stevens family during this sad time. Maribeth and I met at summer camp at Briarwood and while I only knew Mr. Stevens as her dad, I know what a good father he was to have raised such a wonderful daughter! My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  10. He certainly made a joyful noise I’ll always treasure. And two lovely daughters, as well (one of whom grossed us out by french kissing her dog… ah, youth! The guilty one shall remain nameless.) Mr. Stevens brought delight to many and he will be remembered well by thousands. My condolences to Melodie, Maribeth and all his family and friends.

  11. Hi Mimi, I’m so sorry to hear of Papa Jim’s passing, and know that this must be such a difficult time for you. Know that you are in my thoughts. With love, Amanda

  12. I am saddend at your loss, your dad also had wings to fly, he will be watching over all of us along with my mom. So sorry

  13. I am smiling as many of you do when I think of Mr. Stevens. He chose me to be in the Mikado and then in 8th grade he let me have the lead in the Pinafore. My sister Judy and I had a laugh the other day when we remembered together the square dancing class! Of all the people that have come and gone in my life Jim Stevens is on the short list of those that didn’t just pass through, but left an indelible impression. We are all better people because of Jim Stevens. John Reese

  14. I am so sorry for your loss. After reading the obit. It is very evident why he was so loved and so kind being filled with sounds of music.

  15. I enjoyed reading your Dad’s obituary, Mel. What an amazing – and musical – life! Sounds like the heavenly choirs have a new Director!

  16. I have happy 7th grade memories of Mr. Stevens as well. He always made us smile! The last time I saw him, he was playing the organ at my niece’s baptism at St. Elizabeth Seton, 13 years ago. Maribeth has kept me up to date over the years. So sorry for your loss. I hope you all have peace, with love, Michele

  17. I loved Uncle Jim very much and am sad he’s gone from this physical life. His memory will stay with me forever, though, and I take some measure of comfort from that. He was quite a man!

  18. I remember how sweet Mr Steven’s always was to everyone. May we all meet him again someday in our final resting place and sing along with the him and the angels. My prayers for you and your family.

  19. I was an altar boy and trumpeter at St. Elizabeth Seton parish in North Falmouth for many years as I was growing up, and Mr. Stevens was there for most of them. His organ playing is embedded in my memory from my early childhood. I was lucky enough to play with him at Masses, and I will always remember his good humor, and his generosity, most marked by his willingness to nurture a musical drive in others, particularly young people. Actually, as I’ve reflected, one vivid memory that came to me (so incidental that it’s strange that it stuck with me) is from when I sang in the children’s Christmas choir, at probably 6 or 7 years old. During a break in the rehearsals, Mr. Stevens let each of the singers have one of his Tic Tacs, and how pleased we all were with the treat. He understood that a gesture so small would nevertheless bring simple delight to a group of children. I feel that moment is truly characteristic of the warmth that he brought to his job, and that I’m sure he must have carried throughout his life. My condolences to his family.

  20. I was not a lover of music until Mr. Stevens became my teacher, he had a love and passion for something he passed on to all of us. My your memories carry you through this hard time. Trisha Favulli

  21. I will miss Uncle Jimmy very much. I think of him playing music and laughing at holiday parties and family reunions. Auntie Rosa, Melody, and Maribeth my hugs and condolences to you.

  22. Jim, we’ll surely miss you but know you are in a better place and without pain and suffering. May God richly bless your family during this difficult time. We send our sympathy, prayers and love, Andy & Mary

  23. Jim, You always had a joke to tell. I know heaven is a happier place for you being there. Mel and Ros you are always in my thoughts and prayers. He is a new angel watching us. Love Lisa

  24. Maribeth, Melody & Mrs. Stevens, I was so sorry to hear of your loss. As you can imagine, my memories are many. From choir and bell practice at .the Congo. to sleepovers at your house to Amanda and Katie’s births to organ playing at my wedding – my life has been interwoven with and enriched by Jim Stevens over the years. His legacy will live on a long time. Much love to all of you and your extended family.

  25. Melodie , Ron & Family So sorry to hear the news of your dad’s passing . I remember just how close you all were . Your dad toughed a lot of people here in Falmouth . He was such a nice person and would do anything for you . Your old friend and classmate . Bill Davis

  26. Mr. Stevens was my choir director for many years at the Congregational Church in Falmouth, MA. I will always remember his warm smile, his black suits and white shirts and the fact that he encouraged me to be a soloist at the age of 7. Great musical memories of times spent with him I hope the family retain as well. God Bless

  27. Mr. Stevens was my music teacher at the Lawrence School in the late 70s. I also took piano lessons at the Conservatory with him for several years. He was a kind and patient man, always cheerful and smiling. So sorry for your loss.

  28. Mr. Stevens was our music teacher at the Intermediate School, Lawrence High School and Falmouth High School. He shared his love of music with so many through the years! Mr. Steven’s was one of those rare individuals who followed his passion and then shared his talents with such undeniable joy. While I didn’t know Mr. Stevens outside of school, the impression he left with me was that he truly loved what he did. Oh, how lucky his family must have been! My condolences to the family of a truly wonderful human being. Fondly, Vivien Daunt Russ Falmouth High School Class of 1975

  29. Mr.Stevens was my Music teacher in High School in Falmouth Ma. He was a wonderful teacher and very kind and encourging to me.He also accompanied me for many recitals I gave in the area! My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and I will miss him very much! all my love, Dee Etta

  30. Mrs. Stevens and family, I am so sorry about your loss. I remember ‘Mr. Stevens’ as a very kind-hearted neighbor who would have done anything to help us. I will remember all of those early morning rides to high school most of all! Colette Fortin Martin

  31. My mother, Frances, and my sister, Andrea, were saddened when I told them of Mr. Stevens’ passing. My mother remembers going to dance lessons with Mr and Mrs Stevens when they were all growing up in Boston. Both Andrea and I always think of him when we hear .Wipeout. from his teaching us squaredancing in junior high, as he was a great teacher. We all offer our thoughts and prayers during this time.

  32. My Music Teacher ..You will always be remembered by me for your smile ,Breaking me of my shyness Thank You for caring.. Mark A.Vokey

  33. My sincere condolences for you loss. To say your Dad/Husband taught us to love music would be a disservice although it might be true. To say .Mr. Stevens. taught us to love life and music and each other would be closer to the truth. We will all be indebted to him for his selfless service. Sincerely, John Riley

  34. O God, our Father, we know that Thou art afflicted in all our afflictions; and in our sorrow we come to thee that thou mayest give to us the comfort which Thou alone canst give. Make us to be sure that in perfect wisdom, perfect love, and perfect power Thou art working ever for the best. Make us sure that a Father’s hand will never cause His child a needless tear. Make us so sure of Thy love that we will be able to accept even that which we cannot understand. Help us to be thinking not of the darkness of death, but of the splendour of the life everlasting, forever in Thy presence and forever with Thee. Help us still to face life with grace and gallantry; and help us to find courage to go on in the memory that the best tribute we can pay to our loved one is not the tribute of tears, but the constant memory that another has been added to the unseen cloud of witnesses who compass us about. Comfort and uphold us, strengthen and support us, until we also come to the green pastures which are beside the still waters, and until we meet again those whom we have loved and lost awhile. To Rosamond, Melodie and Maribeth and your children, I send my deepest sympathy. Jim was a wonderful, kind and patient man who will be sorely missed and his ‘Light’ will shine forever.

  35. Oh where to start… Jim Stevens was a blaze of brilliance in an othewise dark young life. I met him in 7th grade at the FIS. He picked me, a shy, fat, troubled little boy, to play the lead part in a musical production of .The Mikado. I was so proud of playing that part, I put my heart and soul into it. I loved every second of every music class and still love all genres of music thanks to .Mr. Stevens.. He always had a kind word or a joke if I seemed like I had been having a bad day. He had a way of making me think that I was the only kid in class that he cared about… It turns out that he had a gift for making ALL of his student feel that way. His devotion to the kids, music and education should stand as a benchmark for all who are involved in education. I could never put into words how much he meant to me… suffice to say that my life was enriched by knowing him for the years that I did. I will never forget his smile, laugh and the way he could put one at ease with his amazing personality. I so look forward to singing with him again around the piano when I reach my final destination! I pray that God will grant you strength now and always, and that all of your memories of Mr. Stevens are as fond as mine. Have faith, trust in God and we will all meet again!

  36. Our love, prayers and sympathy go out to his entire family at this time of loss. Mr. Stevens was one of the last of the generation of really good guys I was blessed to have had in my life growing up on the Cape. Hes kindness, patience and passion for music are just some of the reasons I believe he will be remembered so fondly by so many and he will be missed.

  37. Our prayers and thoughts are with you Mrs. Stevens, Maribeth and Melodie. We will keep fond memories of our 8th grade choir teacher and be forever grateful for his patience, guidance, encouragement and musicianship. Jim successfully led the Falmouth High School (Lawrence) Band to the Orange Bowl in 1961: a trip, which hasn’t been duplicated since. Mr. Stevens was also a mentor for so many of the future music educators. He would do anything to help his students become successful and we wanted to find the same joy that he demonstrated each day. He made the awkwardness of square dancing in music class fun, preparation for auditions painless and singing together memorable. St. Elizabeth’s first adult Choir will always remember his dedication, talent and unselfish gift of music. We were blessed to have had the opportunity to work with Jim. May God watch over you all and bring you his peace.

  38. Ros, Mel and all the family, we loved Jim so much for the seemingly short time he was with us in North Haven. I told him from the start I envied his time on the Cape, me being such a beach person. But I have been more the better for knowing him. He often told me he loved my voice, it only made me want to sing better and sweeter when he was in church. I am sure he is enjoying all the heavenly music on high. All my love, Dara

  39. Some of my best child memories were of time spent at the cape with Uncle Jim and his family. My prayers and condolences go out to his family during this difficult time.

  40. Thank you, Mr. Stevens, for all you did for music in Falmouth. Thanks to people like you music lives in Falmouth schools. May you rest in peace and I know you are offering beautiful music in heaven. My sincerest condolences to the entire Stevens family during this difficult time. I hope that your memories will bring you peace in the days ahead.

  41. The memories of Mr. Stevens will always bring a smile to my face as he always brought a song to our hearts. May he rest in peace.

  42. To the Stevens family, My heart goes out to all of you. Remember all the memories of Mr. Stevens music and how he brought joy to all our hearts. He will be missed on this earth.He is now in a peaceful place with God to bring joy to the Lord.

  43. What a full life he had! His joy of music touched so many people. I have fond memories of him when I was young. Prayers to you all in this time of sadness. With Sympathy, Julie

  44. When I think of Mr. Stevens it brings a smile to my face. That in itself shows you what kind of person & teacher he was. He will be missed. My condolences to his family.

  45. Dear Maribeth, We have never met your beloved father. From what we just read about his life, we understand he was a person that was unique and shared his love for music with people of all ages. To do so is a gift – to share and love is so important to create a world that is trustful and beatiful. God bless your Father. Keep all the great memories in your mind. Tor and Anna Oslo, Norway

  46. Hi Mimi, I’m so sorry to hear of Papa Jim’s passing, and know that this must be such a difficult time for you. Know that you are in my thoughts. With love, Amanda

  47. Jim, You always had a joke to tell. I know heaven is a happier place for you being there. Mel and Ros you are always in my thoughts and prayers. He is a new angel watching us. Love Lisa

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