Joseph Magnus Goodman, 95, Of Pleasantville, Professor Of Music Composition

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Joseph Magnus Goodman
Joseph Magnus Goodman Photo Credit: The Daily Voice/Contributed

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - Joseph Magnus Goodman of Pleasantville died Tuesday, Aug. 12. He was 95.

Goodman was born Nov. 28, 1918, to Bella Magnus Goodman and Solomon Goodman. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1938 with a degree in European history. He started his doctoral studies in music history at Yale University and received a Masters degree in Music Composition from Harvard University in 1948. He volunteered his services as an ambulance driver for the British, French and Canadian Armed Forces Ambulance Corps during the early years of the war in France. He then volunteered with the American Friends Service Committee in Mexico. During his five years working with them,Goodman built schools, roads and churches in destitute parts of Mexico. He also spent years teaching local children and adults, as well as playing piano recitals in the local communities and churches.

After the war, Goodman was the recipient of one of the first Fulbright Grants in 1949. His grant was to study music composition with renowned musicians and composers in Venice, Italy. On returning to America in 1951, he embarked on a career as a professor of music history and music composition. He taught at Brooklyn College of Music, Queens College and New York General Theological College as well as Union Theological College in New York City.

In 1969 he moved his family to Pleasantville. He was a member of the St Johns Episcopal Church. He was on the vestry for many years at St. John's Episcopal Church in Pleasantville and Trinity Episcopal Church in Ossining.

Goodman retired from teaching in 1982, and spent the remaining years of his life spreading classical music to everyone.

Goodman is survived by his children, Meredith Downey, Alison Bergman (Robert), Christopher P. Goodman (Tanya); six grandchildren; and a great-grandson. He was predeceased by his parents; and wife, Constance.

Calling hours are Thursday, Aug. 14 from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Beecher Flooks Funeral Home. A Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 15 at the Pleasantville Presbyterian Church, 400 Bedford Road, Pleasantville. Interment will take place at 1:30 p.m. at Kensico Cemetery.

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