James Hanic

James Hanic

James “Jim” was born in Edmonton Alberta, June 14, 1931. The only Canadian citizen to immigrant parents from Czechslovakia . Louis and Mary Hanic had traveled to Canada to find a new life, away from Communism and poverty. James was their link to the new world. Sadly, Jim’s mother became ill and had to return to her homeland soon after Jim’s birth. Jim and his brother Louis and sister Mary, had to forge ahead without their mother. Their home burned down and their father could not manage, so he put the children in an orphanage which was supposed to be temporary, but turned into five years. Their mother never returned.

Although Jim’s life began with sadness and loss his life had many, many wonderful days after his father moved the family to Nelson BC, where they grew up at 124 Nelson Avenue. Jim was an enthusiastic student, but not one to be tolerated easily and tormented his teachers. He always needed the last laugh or the best practical joke. Jim fondly talked about his Grade 2 teacher who taught him how to read for which he was forever grateful.

He told lots of stories about his friends and he tell us about long camping excursions up the lake always seeking the best fishing spot.

Jim left Nelson for a brief time to complete his machinist’s ticket in Vancouver and eventually moved to Ontario for a few years where he married his first love, Barbara which produced a son, Timothy.

After four years in Ontario Jim was told that his beloved sister, Mary, had been mysteriously shot in Nelson. His pain and loss drove him back to Nelson, leaving his wife and 4 year old Timothy. Fortunately his father had remarried by this time and Jim came home to a loving step-mother, Edna Bush-Hanic and a special half sister, Anna Louise Hanic. Nelson became the only place Jim seemed to be able to live and there is stayed. Here he married Laureen (Penny) Penniket and had two more children, Jennifer and Jonathon.

During the 60’s and 70’s Jim had all kinds of things go right, but all kind of struggles too. He was the proprietor of a furniture store, he flew his own airplanes, he bought and drove boats up and down the Kootenay River and into the main lake, and owned more trucks/cars than “Carter has pills” or so he would have said. He travelled the Province BC and especially Pilot Bay for antiques and treasures. Jim’s demons and sorrows from the past continued to haunt him and alcohol finally became his only trusted friend.

Though he did conquer alcoholism later in life, it took a big toll. In the end, Jim will be remembered for his charm, his inherent kindness to strangers, his quick wit, his ability to see through anyone’s dishonesty, his love for his kids…close and far, and his love for a good cup of coffee with a friend. Jim always had a twinkle in his eye, right up to the end. He had no religion, yet he respected the power and awe of the universe and it is certain that on a clear night, he is hopping from one star to the next, answering all of the mysteries of life that kept him curious while he was on the earth.

Jim is survived by Timothy Gordon, Jennifer Mary Hanic Brown and Jonathon James Hanic. He has five amazing grandchildren. Maxwell James Hanic, George Ethan Brown, Christina Paige Hanic, Angus Gerald Brown, Fiona Grace Brown and Anna Louise Hanic. He will be forever missed and as he always wanted to have the world know, he will be “back in ten minutes”.


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