Prominent Lake Cowichan businessman Jim Neiser dead at 63

Lake Cowichan Mayor Bob Day said the long-time laker will be missed.

Jim Neiser of Neiser Sales, Service & Rentals Ltd. died suddenly on Jan. 4. after suffering an apparent cardiac event at work. (Submitted photo)

Jim Neiser of Neiser Sales, Service & Rentals Ltd. died suddenly on Jan. 4. after suffering an apparent cardiac event at work. (Submitted photo)

A prominent Lake Cowichan businessman has died at 63.

Jim Neiser of Neiser’s Rentals died suddenly on Jan. 4. after suffering an apparent cardiac event at work.

Lake Cowichan Mayor Bob Day said the long-time laker will be missed.

“I knew Jim as one of his customers,” Day said. “I often hoped it was Jim behind the counter so I could hear one of his great Cowichan Lake pioneer stories. Whenever we would get into a good discussion I could always count on Jim for a good old lumberjack analogy on the topic. I know Jim will be sorely missed by his family, friends, staff and customers.”

Day couldn’t be more correct. According to his sister and business partner, Janice, Neiser led a simple life. He never married but what he did have was a huge family of friends around the Lake.

The Neisers were raised around Kissinger Lake and Jim had a trap line, washed the crummies (logging vehicles), delivered newspapers by snowmobile, and whatever else he could do to earn some pocket money.

The family moved there in 1959 and were the last household to leave in 1975.

In 1980 Neiser Sales, Service & Rentals Ltd. was opened by their father and after a few years Jim and then Janice joined the family business.

Eventually, the siblings became business partners.

“We were business partners for 38 years side by side,” said Janice. “We never had an argument or disagreement.”

The business is in the process of being sold now — something that was in the works before Neiser’s untimely death.

“We planned on retiring and spending more time in the north,” Janice said. Neiser had 40 acres in the Chilcotin, where he had horses and liked to go and hunt.

“We’ve had a bit of change of plans now,” Janice added.

Along with his horses, Neiser had two beloved black labs, both of which died in the fall, a few months apart from each other.

Neiser was a lover of animals and all things in nature, especially hunting and fishing. He was part of a group of buddies that did an annual pheasant hunt in Brooks, Alta. He ice-fished up north, and he was an avid fisherman out at Port Renfrew. He even had wild pet birds.

“He had an eagle, Sylvia,” Janice related. “And she used to sit at Mesachie Lake, where he lived on the water, and wait for him to come out on his fishing days, then follow him home again. And she’d sit at his cleaning station, on the picnic table and Sylvia would sit at the end of the table and share the scraps.”

It went beyond that; Neiser kept and froze fish scraps to make sure Sylvia got fed every day and if he was out of town he’d make sure somebody else fed the big bird. If he ran out of scraps, he’d go buy chicken.

What’s more, he had hummingbirds. Thousands!

“He would go through five gallons of hummingbird food when the heat was on,” Janice said. “In the winter, the birds would live in his attic. They’d live on a wire hanging in his attic. There’s probably still some in there.”

Janice said she’s “going to miss everything” about her brother. “He was an unbelievable cook. He wouldn’t eat other people’s food. He just chose not to,” she said. Anything he needed he could provide for himself.

“He also was well-known as the hand-filer/grinder of power saw chains,” Janice said. “It is an art. He learned it from my dad. Now that’s gone along with him.”

The Lake’s David Lowther said Neiser helped him with his own chainsaw.

“He was one of my own resource people when I moved here as a dashing urbanite these many years ago,” Lowther said. “I had avoided chainsaws after my years in the ER, mainly because a minor accident can use an entire case of No. 3 silk suture, but when I was clearing the acreage for Mary’s new and improved garden Mr. Neiser ensured that I knew how to use the saw he sold me without an unscheduled amputation.”

Lowther said Neiser was the “only game in town” when you needed a short-term tool or machine.

“I knew him only to do business with, but he was a tremendous resource when I had a job to do but didn’t know what tool to do it with. He usually had the tool you needed, and if he didn’t he knew who did.”

Lake Cowichan will miss Jim Neiser.

“You have to trudge along here now,” said Janice. “But we’ll get through.”



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Lake CowichanLocal Business

Just Posted

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Island Health’s new Wellness and Recovery Centre at 5878 York Rd. is now planned to be open in the fall. (File photo)
Wellness and Recovery Centre now to open in the fall

Three community dialogues scheduled for May

Before you take on a pet, make sure you want to have it for life. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Editorial: A pet is a lifetime commitment

Tons of people are getting pets during the pandemic, some for the first time

Over 60 Indigenous youth from Qualicum to Malahat are participating in the Step Up Work Placement Program. (Submitted photo)
New Mid-Island Indigenous youth work placement program seeks employer partners

So far, more than 60 youth from Qualicum Beach to the Malahat are participating in the program

Sign of the times: this property on View Street in Chemainus that exp Realty’s Debbie Simmonds had listed at $599,000 sold for $650,000. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Real estate market continues to soar in the Chemainus area

Multiple offers on properties common, leading to sales above listing prices

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pixabay
Island Health: two doctors, new clinic space to avert Port McNeill health crisis

Island Health has leased space to use as an immediate clinic location to avert health crisis

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

A poignant Pandemic Postcard Project submission has led Lesley Wright and Graham Hughes of Literacy Alberni on a new path toward anti-racism education. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
‘I am not a virus’: How one postcard sparked a Vancouver Island pushback against racism

Literacy Alberni receives $50K in funding to create web-driven system for reporting racism

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. (Kareem Elgazzar/AP)
B.C. adults 30+ now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Health officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon

Most Read