March 8, 1930 – August 29, 2020
Jim passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of August 29th surrounded by close family and his adoring dog, Mitzi.
Born in Punnichy, Saskatchewan, the middle of three siblings in the depths of the Great Depression, Jim spent his early years in small prairie farming communities. During the war he went to live in Flin Flon and always recalled fond memories of summers at Beaver Lake and the kindness and generosity of his aunt and uncle who looked after him.
In 1943 he participated in the East Kildonan track meet where he took three first place ribbons and appeared prominently in the local newspaper—an achievement for which he was tremendously proud.
His family later moved to Cobble Hill where he attended high school and enjoyed fixing old cars, riding motorcycles, swimming, playing ice hockey and softball. Following graduation, he enlisted in the Air Force as a flight cadet.
In 1956, looking for a career change, he took up his new profession of teaching and a lifelong passion for painting. Soon after, he married his high school sweetheart, Mary, also a teacher.
Jim graduated with a B.Ed. from UBC in 1963 and an MFA from the Institution Allende in 1965. He taught for many years at schools in North Vancouver before accepting a position at UVic as Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education.
The last years of Jim’s career were spent teaching art, painting and coaching rugby, eventually taking Cowichan High School (Duncan) to the provincial championships.
Active well into his senior years, Jim began his retirement by cycling from Banff to Jasper, climbing Mt. Olympus and then at the age of 73, paddling the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson City. Along the way, he and Mary designed and built a beautiful home on an acreage in Mill Bay where Jim spent countless hours in his beloved garden, growing vegetables and cultivating fruit trees.
Jim and Mary enjoyed travelling in Europe with a particular fondness for Spain, Italy and the Greek islands—images that are vividly captured in his work. In a painting career that spanned more than 60 years, Jim created an extraordinary body of work in oils, water colours, gouache, acrylic and mixed media.
In some notable examples, he painstakingly layered media, working tirelessly on the pieces for years.
Jim was a finalist in several juried art shows and exhibited his work in Winnipeg, Seattle, Sooke, Victoria, Vancouver, West Vancouver and Whistler. His paintings are held in many private collections.
A lifelong member of the Anglican Church of Canada, for the last 27 years he was a devoted member of the parish of St. John’s, Cobble Hill where the funeral will be held. Jim will be sadly missed by family, friends, colleagues, teammates and students.
He is survived by his wife Mary and children Belinda (Mike), Les (Michelle) and Robin (Kevin) and grandchildren Justin, Ryan, Kali and Benjamin.
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