September 9, 1930 – May 1, 2020
James Ernest Donaldson passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 1, 2020 at Mountain Lake Seniors Community, Nelson, BC at the age of 89.
Jim was born in Nelson on September 9, 1930 to James Herbert (Bert) and Mona (nee Harlow) Donaldson. Tragically Mona passed away of tuberculosis when Jim was just seven years old leaving him and his two sisters to be raised mostly by their grandmother while their father was away working on the sternwheelers, as did his father before him.
In 1954, Jim married Rose Renzie of Procter and they settled in Nelson where their son Phil was born.
During his working career, Jim was a miner at the Bluebell Mine in Riondel, then spent many years at Kootenay Forest Products as a mechanic and as Shop Foreman, before going out on his own having a successful business as a mechanic and welder. Later, he was co-owner of the tugboat “Melinda Jane” contracted to push CPR barges to Kaslo, Lardeau and other centres on Kootenay Lake.
In addition to building the family home at Nine Mile, Jim was skilled and methodical with a talent to build or fix just about anything. If he didn’t have a tool or a part that he needed, he would just make it. In his later years, before the onset of dementia, Jim could be found in his shop crafting beautiful scale models of some nine local sternwheelers and tugboats complete to the most minute detail, now in the collection at Touchstones Nelson.
Jim was predeceased by his parents, sisters Marylou Sutherland and Margaret Hagyard, and his son Phil in 2016.
He is survived by his wife Rose, granddaughter Andrea Donaldson (Vancouver) and daughter-in-law Lana Donaldson.
The family extends its sincere appreciation to the staff at Mountain Lake Seniors Community for their kindness and care of Jim in his last years.
Please visit https://www.thompsonfs.ca/obituary/james-donaldson/ to leave a personal message of condolence for the family.
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