December 23, 2022
Our dear Dad and beloved Opa passed away peacefully, surrounded in love with his family at his side on Wednesday, Dec 23rd, 2022 at Mountain Lakes Senior Community.
Jim was born on a dairy farm in Obdam in North Holland. He was the middle child of a family of seven. Being a good storyteller he often had us on the floor laughing with tales of the many childhood pranks he and his friends played on each other.
In 1949, Jim’s adventuresome spirit took him across the Atlantic to Canada, where he found work on numerous farms in Ontario. After a few years, he bought a brand new Ford truck with his earnings and set out for British Columbia, with his brother and a friend. They fell in love with Nelson when they first saw its’ twinkling lights from the North Shore and vowed that if they could find work they would stay. The next day they all found employment at the local sawmill. Within a year, Jim acquired a job working for Kootenay Valley Dairy as a milkman.
With his new job and savings, he purchased a house on Houston Street, and sent for his sweetheart (Betty), in Holland. They were married shortly after our Mom arrived, and lived in Nelson for three years, welcoming their first two children, before purchasing their dairy farm in Sunshine Bay.
Dad loved his wife, children, animals and farming. He and Betty brought up 6 children who feel blessed to have been supported by loving hard-working parents who brought them up on a beautiful organic farm, filled with animals, gardens, and great memories. The farm could not solely support his growing family and so Jim took on several jobs to make ends meet. He eventually found employment with the Provincial Parks Branch and worked at Kokanee Park, as well as several other parks throughout the Kootenays for 24 years.
He loved his job, which included maintaining and helping to construct new parks. Some of the campgrounds he worked on include: Kokanee Park (Sandspit), Pilot Bay, Rosebery,Lockhart, Syringa, Cody Caves, Blanket Creek and the Stagleap trails and cabin. Jim’s co-workers and staff fondly remember his humour and pranks that kept them laughing.
Jim also volunteered his spare time helping to maintain the Sunshine Bay Park, and Procter Catholic Church. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, as well as the Procter Seniors and Hall board. Over the years, he lent a helping hand to many community members. Their home was always a welcoming place, where many friends enjoyed a good laugh over coffee.
After selling the farm in 2016 to one of his grandsons, Jim and Betty moved into Lake View Village, to live out their retirement years. He enjoyed strolling to Lakeside Park and his “BS” sessions with the other fellows over coffee. He always had a story to tell that would be sprinkled with jokes and laughs. Dad had a great sense of humour, as well as a love for a good dessert.
The family wants to thank the staff at Lake View for their kindness and care that our parents received for the past six years, especially for the exemplary care given to our father during the past six months after our mother passed in May. Dad moved into Mountain Lakes a month ago, and we wish to thank the care aids who compassionately cared for him.
Jim was predeceased by Betty, his beloved wife of 67 years, and his daughter Karen. He is survived by his five remaining children: Joan (John),Yvonne (Drew), Audrey(Daniel), Mim, Dan(Kris), as well as nine grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren.
We will miss our dear father whose humour, generosity, wisdom and love enriched our lives.
A celebration of Jim’s life will be held in Procter, this spring.
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