May 7, 1931 – August 31, 2016
August 31, 2016 marked the passing of James Thomas Marsh, known to everyone as “Jim”. Jim was a resident of Ladner, BC, but spent his last months in Vernon, BC, surrounded by family. Jim was predeceased by his wife Jean, the love of his life for 68 years.
Jim is survived by his daughter Helen Noble of Saskatoon, and son Ian (Krista) of Vernon BC.
He had five grandchildren, Graeme (Synthia), Jesse (Leanne), Charles (Miranda), Erica and Patrick, as well as four great-grandchildren, Ethan, Logan, Owen and Darian. Jim is also survived by two nieces, Berry and Judi and a nephew, Stephen.
Jim was born in Ripley, Derbyshire, England in 1931. He was educated at Chesterfield Technical School where he became a Journeyman Electrician. Jim went into the coal mines, like his father before him. A number of very close calls underground were wisely followed by plans for a life in the New World. He emigrated to Canada in 1960 and was followed four months later by his wife and two children. He settled in Winnipeg,
and retrained to Canadian standards. He also learned to play guitar…more on that later.
Jim was employed first as a motor winder and later in sales with Canadian Westinghouse. Over the years he moved west, first Regina and later for a much longer stay in Saskatoon. Eventually he transferred to the lower mainland in 1979, when he was offered the position of District Service Manager with Westinghouse.
Jim retired from Westinghouse in 1992, and began his second career as a professional musician.
He had played his Martin D-28 guitar in the coffee house scene in Saskatoon in the 70’s, but his professional gig was traditional New Orleans Jazz, playing the tenor banjo.
Based in Ladner he joined a west coast band, the Grand Dominion Jazz Band. With the GDJB he and Jean toured the world over a 13-year period. Many of the trips were on cruise ships, but also played festivals in North America, Europe and Asia. Jim and Jean made many, many life-long friends, both during his first and second careers.
Throughout his long struggle with cancer, Jim remained upbeat and positive. He remained bright, alert and happy until his last few days, spending his time on Skype, talking to people around the world. The last thing he would have wanted would be for people to be sad at his passing, in the New Orleans tradition.
Jim loved his Canucks, the Reifel Bird Sanctuary and many other past-times. He enjoyed his 85 trips around the sun, his banjo, and his Single Malt Scotch. It was indeed a life well lived.
The family would like to thank his physicians, Drs. Chris Cunningham, Charlie Secretan, Mike Humphries, Calvin Cheng (Ladner) and his buddy Stan Eaman. As well, thanks to the staff on 3W and 7th Floor at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
A special debt of gratitude goes to the nurses and support staff at the Vernon Hospice House, where Jim felt like he had come home.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Vernon Hospice House. The website is at: https://48046.thankyou4caring.org/donate
A Celebration of Jim’s Life will be held at the Ladner United Church Hall, 4960 48 Avenue, Delta, BC at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, September 17th.