June 24, 1944 – December 7, 2021
Passed away peacefully on December 7th, 2021, at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital with his devoted wife Laverne by his side. The family, mining industry and the community lost a truly gifted and compassionate individual.
James (‘Jim’) Leslie Popowich is preceded by his brother Doug, survived by three siblings, his brothers Harvey and Alvin, his sister Arlene: also, the relatives 6 nephews, 11 nieces, 15 great-nephews & nieces, 4 great-great nephews & nieces.
Jim was raised on the family farm near Churchbridge, Saskatchewan, to the parents of Harry and Bertha. It was there that he developed the value of work ethics.
Jim attended the University of Saskatchewan, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering and a Master of Science in Mining. This was the beginning of his 4-decade career in the mining industry. It was while attending university he met his wife, Laverne.
Jim began his mining career with Cominco’s (now Teck Resources) at Potash operations near Saskatoon, Sask, then on to Pine Point NWT at a lead-zinc open-pit mine, Trail BC at a smelter plant, then joining Fording Coal Ltd at Elkford, BC and promoted to their head office in Calgary.
He continued to the Edmonton area at Genesee coal power plant and the Whitewood open-pit coal mine. He remained employed with Teck Resources at the head office in Calgary again, until retirement at the year-end of 2006 to Vernon, BC.
After retirement a member for 11 years on the Mosaic Board in the Compensation & EHS (Environment, Health & Safety) and Sustainability Committees.
Jim was a dedicated proponent of excellence in the Canadian mining industry and is recognized for his dedication to sustainable development issues. His exceptional mining industry experience was a match for his active participation in numerous engineering and mining organizations as CIM, APEGGA, Coal Association Canada, and several other environmental groups in the province of Alberta.
Jim had a profound commitment, held many leadership roles in each community he lived in. Community volunteer opportunities were always a portion of Jim’s life for leisure time including Block Watch and FireSmart Captains, on Volunteer Fire Departments, on Emergency Management Committees and held various sports club positions. He was presently serving a four-year term on the Allan Brooks Nature Centre Board as Chair after being on the Board for one year.
Talents in music began at the early age of 10 in Guitar and Accordion – Electric Organ & Keyboard. Thru the years recreational sports included Fastball and Slo-Pitch ball, Cycling, Racquet sports, Golf (with two Hole-In-Ones), Curling with numerous positions held in the Clubs, Hockey (even included being a BC Amateur Hockey Association Official Referee & playing Old-Timer Hockey and became a director of the ‘Twin’ Hockey Area in Scenic Acres, Calgary), Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing.
Retirement was in 2006 from the Mining Industry leaving behind over a 39-year legacy of performance improvement in operations, health & safety, community relations and environmental management. It did not stop him from contributing to his chosen profession and the Mining Industry until the year he deceased.
Over the years Jim’s expertise was extensive, ranging from the behaviour of earth materials, soil and rock mechanics, project management, and much more. Jim was a specialized individual that was highly regarded and relied on for his specific skills.
It was his attention to detail in developing those new projects and resolving problems on existing projects that gave him the opportunity to explore new places and have a life of travel.
“Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure,
you are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.”
He will be truly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues. Heartfelt appreciation is extended to all family, friends, colleagues as well as the medical, Vernon Hospital and Interior Health staff for assistance and support during this difficult time.
If desired, memorial donations in memory of Jim may be made to:
The Arthritis Society of BC at www.arthritis.ca
BC Cancer at www.bccancerfoundation.com
Vernon Jubilee Hospital at www.vjhfoundation.org
Allan Brooks Nature Centre, Vernon BC at www.abnc.ca
Men’s Shed, Vernon BC at www.mensshedvernon.ca
Shared memories and expressions of remembrance may be shared online to the family through www.myalternatives.ca
Arrangements entrusted to Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services ®
Vernon 250-558-0866 & Armstrong 250-546-7237
Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services
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