March 9 1933 – May 15 2017
Jim passed away peacefully in the wee hours of May 15 at home surrounded by the warmth and love of his family.
He is survived by many who loved him: his loving wife of 60 years, Muriel; his children; Lori Swanson (Wes Startup), Ali Grieve (Glen), Karen Kapral (Jack), Jim Swanson (Karyn): grandchildren; Jay (Brianna), Sean (Rachel), Jackson, Robyn (Dustin), Karlin (Colleen), Cassandra (Ryan), Jacob, Lindsay (Andrew), Sam and Ryan: and great grandchildren; Maddie, Maggie, Caleb, Jorja, and Aila.
Jim is also survived by five siblings and many extended family members. Brother Hughie passed the day before Jim and so they leave this world together.
Jim was born in Vermillion, Alberta. The Swanson clan emigrated to Trail in 1950, settling on Mountain Street where the Swanson Roofing company was formed. Jim ventured back to Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta and became a Steam Engineer (1st class). For almost twelve years, he enjoyed his trade with Sherritt Gordon and Dow Chemical, and was an avid ball player on his off-time. Jim met Muriel in “the Fort,” and they married in 1957. Three daughters and a son completed their family. The family returned to Trail in 1965, and Swanson Roofing became Swanson & Sons, with the company succeeding and expanding under Jim’s stewardship. Dad and Mom moved their family to Fruitvale, where most of the family resides today.
The Fruitvale years have been rich and robust. Dad hobby-farmed 20+ acres of land, raising cows (for milk), steers (for meat), chickens (25-500), horses (for the kids to ride), barn cats, and dogs. Jim was a prolific gardener, always vying with others to grow the biggest, finest tomatoes. He was proudest when the table served everything from his land. As a father, he taught his children many things. When we weren’t doing farm chores, pitching bales in 33 degree summer heat, or learning animal husbandry, there were extracurricular activities, including music lessons, highland dance lessons, and swimming. All of us know how to collect, wash and candle fresh eggs for market. It was a good life.
In addition to his farming, Dad renovated two homes, and built five. When building “the A-frame,” he decided to go to Vancouver Island, and learn the art of salvaging raw cedar, and making cedar shakes. Returning, he salvaged all the cedar he needed for the house from the Columbia River, and hand split all the shakes. Dad was curious about everything, and believed he could do almost anything. He read voraciously, and had a tendency to educate, whether or not one asked for a lesson.
Jim was very active in his community. For many years, he was a dedicated, passionate member of the curling club. He could tell you what happened in the third end during the men’s play-downs when the skip called for a draw and it should have been a take out. He gave his time to the Beaver Valley Manor as Treasurer of their board for several years. Jim lived life to the fullest.
Dad’s final resting place was the home he and Mom built themselves, when they were in their seventies, with help from some good friends and family. Jim left us from that home, with the sun shining on his face.
As an expression of sympathy donations may be made to Columbia View Lodge at 2920 Laburnum Drive Trail BC V1R 4N2 or to The Salvation Army Community Church at 2030 2nd Ave. Trail BC V1R 1N3.
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence online @ myalternatives.ca.
Family and friends are invited to join Muriel and the kids for Happy Hour at the Fruitvale Curling Rink on Saturday May 20 from 4-6 pm. Please drop by.