On March 14, 2016, at Kelowna General Hospital, with his wife, Jean, by his side James Ian Simpson passed into a world free of suffering after a courageous battle with cancer. Born in Regina Sask. to Bernice and Ian Simpson in 1942, James, as a child, moved back and forth across Canada 26 times as a result of his father’s position in the military. The family finally settled in Victoria, B.C. Jim was predeceased by his mother Bernice Margaret Mitchell (Macmillan), father Ian Simpson and step-father Frank Enoch Mitchell as well as cousin Jacqueline Sutherland.
From 1960 to 1972 James was employed by the Victoria Public Library as the film librarian showing NFB films to community groups and at the Summer Film Festivals held in Beacon Hill Park. After marriage in 1972, the couple moved to Vancouver where James was a Manager in the Drapery, Linens and Domestics Dept. of Woodward’s until 1984. He also spent time selling carpets and Persian rugs for The Bay and worked for Laurentian Financial Services selling insurance and mutual funds. Attending Kwantlen University College and GR Tech, James was finally able to complete his secondary and post-secondary education so frequently interrupted by constant moves during his childhood, graduating with diplomas in shipper/receiver warehousing and industrial drafting. Prior to retiring in 2008 James had worked for many years in inventory control at the main distribution centre of Lordco in Burnaby.
James was a faithful member of the choir wherever Jean was organist and choir director including St. Stephen the Martyr, Burnaby, St. Catherine of Alexandria, Port Coquitlam and lastly St. Saviour’s, Nelson. At the many choir parties Jim was renowned for being a superb host with a great personality, a wonderful sense of humour and the “gift of the gab.” Jim’s hobbies included the book club at St. Catherine’s, wine-making, nature photography and long walks with his beloved corgis (3 pairs over the years). In Nelson he was invited to join the Rotary Club and remained a member until illness forced his withdrawal. Travels north in the truck camper on the Dempster Hwy to the Arctic Circle and beyond to Inuvik and around Alaska led to a lasting love of northern B.C., Alaska and the Yukon. In 2013 a cultural cruise down the Danube was to be remembered as the highlight of a lifetime.
James is profoundly missed by Jean, his wife of 44 years, his corgis Tristan and Tallis and his many close friends at St. Saviour’s and in the Nelson community.
A memorial service celebrating Jim’s life will be held at St. Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral, 701 Ward Street on Monday April 4th at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the St. Saviour’s Legacy Fund.
Arrangements are under the direction of Thompson Funeral Service. Online condolences may be expressed at www.thompsonfs.ca