James “Jimmy” Arthur

December 3, 1933 – November 7, 2018
Dr. James (Jimmy) Arthurs died peacefully on November 7, with family by his side, at Sunridge Place in Duncan, BC. He was 84.

Jimmy was predeceased by his parents, Robert and Brigid Arthurs, and sister Patricia (Cliff dec.) Capstick, and is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Norah (nee Kilfoyle); his siblings, Peter (Jane) Arthurs, Maureen (Harry dec.) Peacock, and Liam (Valerie) Arthurs; sister-in-law, Mary (Walter dec.) Mariner; his children, Damian, Tony (Kimberly), and Lisa (John) Santos; his much

loved grandchildren, Ryan, Ben, Des, James, and Kyla; and many nieces, nephews, friends, and colleagues.

Born in Consett, County Durham (UK), a coal and steel town, James quickly recognized education as his pathway to a life beyond the world of working class struggles. He attended St. Cuthbert’s School, and then earned an Honours degree in French at King’s College, University of Durham, where he met Norah. Jimmy later completed graduate degrees in French (MA, UVic) and linguistics (PhD, UBC).

After marrying in 1958, Jimmy and Norah emigrated to Duncan in 1959. Jimmy taught French at Shawnigan Lake School (1959-67) and was especially proud of his role in establishing a language lab and developing curricula for language learning. He then taught at Royal Roads Military College (1967-69), and after completing his PhD at UBC, he returned to Vancouver Island to work at UVic as a linguistics professor (1973-99). Upon retirement, Jimmy and Norah travelled extensively, and enjoyed their friends in the Duncan area.

Jimmy enjoyed a good laugh and had an inquisitive mind not limited to the world of academia. He was a keen photographer, artist, walker, hockey fan, and conversationalist. He enjoyed carpentry, auto mechanics, sound engineering, cooking, and camping. Jimmy was also an admitted computer geek. To the chagrin of some colleagues, he recognized early the uses of computer technology in studying and teaching language, and used it avidly in his work on a Canadian bi-lingual dictionary and “Hockey Talk”, his study of ice hockey terms, syntax, and semantics (which only he could make relevant and interesting). Above all else, Jimmy was a good man. He was a loving husband, supportive father, and constant friend, and he gave his time to all who asked. He was a man of strong views but was equally willing to learn from others.

The immediate family wishes to thank family and friends for their support over the last few years during Jimmy’s decline. He appreciated your thoughtfulness and patience. The family also thanks the caring staff at Sunridge Place Seniors Community for their professionalism, good humour, attention, and understanding.

Jimmy’s funeral was held at 1pm on November 13 at St. Edwards Church in Duncan. If you so desire, please send a donation to the charity of your choice. Condolences can be sent to www.remembr.com/james. arthurs. The family wishes to express its gratitude to those who have sent cards of sympathy and condolences during this difficult time.


Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.