January 14, 1944 – November 9, 2020
Jim passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side, surrounded by love.
Jim’s upbringing on a mixed cattle and grain farm in Alberta shaped the resourceful, hard working man he became. His first job, at age 10 was to care for a herd of pigs that were raised during the off season. Usually a job for a full grown man, this experience was fodder for many funny stories as to how little Jimmy outwitted the pigs. It also resulted in some schoolyard teasing and his lifelong goal of “staying in shape”.
“Building muscles throwing hay
That’s how he’d spend his day…
Combining grain and off to school
But pig smell following wasn’t cool”
Long stretches of Jim’s teenage summers were spent singlehandedly tending the family’s second cattle farm in Eastern Alberta. He attended high school in Edmonton, followed by a Physical Education degree at University of Alberta. There, he became a wrestler and a football player. His love of wrestling led him to years of coaching and carpet wrestling with his sons.
Jim was a valued member of U of A’s football team despite missing most of training camp as he worked the harvests with his Dad. Jim was very proud that his team participated in the first Vanier Cup, even if Toronto did win.
Jim travelled and worked his way around the world before returning home to a successful teaching career. Students in Calgary, Coquitlam, Strathmore and Vernon will fondly remember his diligence and humour.
Jim was proud of his coaching with the focus being on participation and skill development, the unusal field trips he organized for his Science students, an Active Living Course he developed and taught while in Coquitlam, and the introduction of many students (including his sons) to the life time activity of running.
In his younger adult years Jim was the life of the party, but at age 39 he happily traded that boisterous life to become a very loving and faithful husband to Susan, and proud father and role model to his sons, Tyler and Kaelen.
For many years, Jim spent his weekends building cabins at Whistler, a house in Strathmore, a cabin on the Sunshine Coast and finally the beautiful family home on Kalamalka Lake where he and Susan raised their boys, welcomed family and friends, and where he spent his final days.
During his almost 20 years of retirement Jim took his daily cue from the weather – skiing, biking, hiking or in his “shop”. Jim also explored his creative side during retirement, sketching and wood carving, composing Christmas letters and odes to friends in prose.
Jim will always be missed and loved by his wife Susan; sons, Tyler and Kaelen; sister, Jeanne Floen; and extended family in Canada and Australia. He was preceded in death by his parents, Gontran “Olie” and Elsie (nee Bird) Chartrand; his siblings, Bob and Candie; and brother-in-law, Russ Floen.
In respecting Jim’s wishes, he was cremated and a celebration of his life will be held in the summer of 2021 at the family home. As an expression of sympathy, those who wish to do so may send donations in memory of Jim to Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, #304-3402-27th Avenue, Vernon, B.C. V1T 1S1 (designated for the Okanagan Rail Trail).
Cremation arrangements were made with Bethel Funeral Chapel Ltd., 5605-27th Street, Vernon, B.C. V1T 8Z5.
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