Arthur John Christmas, 68, beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend passed away on Monday, May 6th, 2013, at Bluewater Health Sarnia, after a short, but valiant struggle following cancer surgery. Art was a long-time resident of Sarnia, Ontario, moving here from Blind River, Ontario in 1970 to take the Music Department headship at the newly opened Alexander Mackenzie Secondary School.
Art`s biggest passions in life were music, community and most of all his family. His life was built around these values. During his early years, he acquired his passion for music from his father, who was a renowned musician in Britain. In his young adult years, he followed in his father`s footsteps, performing in Britain and throughout Canada. Art shared his love of music by influencing thousands of young people over a 30 year teaching career, spanning Northern and Southwestern Ontario. After his tenure at Alexander Mackenzie, Art went on to teach at Northern Collegiate, and ended his teaching career at St. Clair Secondary School, where he built the largest music program in the city with nearly 500 students. Using his boundless energy and dynamic personality, he inspired his students to participate in a total of three concert bands, three stage bands, a marching band, four wind ensembles, a vocal program consisting of a sixty voice concert choir and a combination jazz/show choir. He also conducted the Sarnia Citizen`s Band, later known as the Bluewater Symphonic Band. He was able to engage this vibrant group of musicians, both young and old, to give back to their community, just as Art himself loved to do. Throughout his years in Sarnia, Art was instrumental in fostering the musical theatre culture of the community. He directed the Polysar Glee Club, and later founded the Art Christmas Aggregation, which grew to be the leading amateur musical theatre group in Southwestern Ontario. The Aggregation went on, over its 23 year run, to provide Sarnia and the surrounding area with top notch entertainment, as well as nearly $120,000.00 in charitable donations, bettering the lives of others.
Art is predeceased by his parents, Arthur James and Maisie Dorothy Christmas (Bonner), and is survived by his devoted wife, Paula (Bracken). Dearly loved by his children Stephanie Scott (Bryan), Jeff Christmas (Wendy) and Lynn Kloss (Rick). Dearly missed by his ten beloved grandchildren, Matthew, Erynne, Jeffrey, Sydnee, Jayden, Cameron, Lindsay, Jason, Michael, Molly, and his great grandchildren Jada and Keaton.
Friends and family will be received on Thursday May 9th, 2013 at SMITH FUNERAL HOME (1576 London Line, Sarnia) from 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Friday May 10th, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Smith Funeral Home . Cremation to follow. Donations in Art`s name may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation or to the charity of your choice (cheques only at the funeral home please). smithfuneralhome.ca