August 8, 1940 – March 20, 2019
Jim passed away at Victoria General Hospital on March 20, 2019, in his seventy-ninth year. He was born in Crosshill, Fife, Scotland, on August 8, 1940. While he faced challenges during his last few years because of his failing heart, he endured with grace and his trademark Scottish stoicism. Jim was an honourable man who cared deeply for his family and friends, for all animals, and for the planet. When you were with him you had to be ready for what he believed was the truth, for he never told a lie … white or otherwise.
Predeceased by his parents, James and Jeanie, and his brother, Bob, he will be deeply missed by his wife Linda, his daughter Kirstin, son-in-law James, his two beautiful grandchildren, Liam James and Aimee Elizabeth, and his 20 year-old cat, Chico. He leaves in Scotland his sisters-in-law Ella and Mary, niece Linda (Robert), nephews Jim (Sharon) and John (Usha), and their families. In Canada, he also leaves sisters-in-law Carole (Alex) and Liz (Bill), nephews Ross (Teegan) and Jamie (Robyn), and their families.
Jim met Linda at Beath High School, and they married in 1964. After graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in mathematics, Jim immigrated to Canada with Linda in 1966, and they settled in Port Alberni. They welcomed their daughter, Kirstin, the light of their lives, in 1981. Jim taught mathematics for over 30 years at A. W. Neill Junior Secondary School. After he retired, he enjoyed tutoring many students.
Jim had many gifts – he was the Dux (top student) and sports’ champion of his high school, was a successful professional sprinter and played professional soccer in Scotland (for Raith Rovers; St. Johnstone; and Cowdenbeath soccer teams). In Canada he played soccer for the Victoria O’Keefe’s Soccer Team, when they won the North American Kennedy Cup in 1967, and was inducted into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame with the team 50 years later. Jim coached many soccer teams, including his time as a player-coach of the P.A. Selects, and had many lifelong friendships with his teammates. He continued to play soccer in the Alberni Valley until he turned 70. Jim also adored the game of cricket, having played for the Crosshill Cricket Club while in Scotland, and later played in Canada, whenever and wherever he could. Later in life, he became proficient in the Spanish language and continued to study diligently until the end. He also bought himself a lathe and became a woodturner of local repute. These passions brought him great joy. Whatever he set his mind to, he succeeded at; he never gave up.
While latterly he was limited in how much energy he could count on, he found immense happiness spending time with his young grandchildren, who he lived with in Victoria. We will remember his warmth, enthusiasm, determination, and extreme appreciation of good food, wine, and music. Most of all, we’ll miss his sense of humour; he kept us laughing right up to the end.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Starboard Grill, Harbour Quay, Port Alberni, on Saturday, May 25, 2019, at 1:30 pm. For those who wish to make a charitable donation in Jim’s memory, as many pets enriched his life, the family suggests the S.P.C.A. in Port Alberni.