Jul 21, 1928 – Dec 4, 2017
Thomas James Sturgeon – July 21, 1928 in Trail, BC – December 4, 2017 in Trail, BC – AGE 89 YRS
Jim Sturgeon was born in the old Trail Hospital on July 21, 1928 to his parents Maria and James Sturgeon, both from Gilford, County Down, Northern Ireland.
Jim grew up in Trail and it was not easy for him as a child. He tells of his experience as a young man, helping his mother with her job lighting the furnaces early in the morning at buildings in Trail such as West Kootenay Power and Light. The oldest of 4 siblings, Jim left high school at the age of 16 to take an apprenticeship as a machinist at CM & S (Teck Cominco) in order to support his mother and 3 younger siblings. He was to spend an extraordinary 46 years working as a machinist – millwright at Cominco before he retired.
Jim had many interests in his life. He was a skier at Red Mountain. He loved music and played the violin in high school and then again in his later life. He also had a passion for playing the recorder. He sang in The Trail Male Chorus and played the tenor drum in the Trail Pipe Band for many years.
Jim also was proud to own and race two Austin-Healey sports cars. Jim most importantly identified himself as a pilot. He first soloed in 1947 in a Cessna 140. He would never hesitate to proudly show anyone his pilot’s log book which included the Christmas supply drop flight to the weather station on Old Glory on Dec. 23, 1956, 2 engine failures, and his last flight at the controls of a DeHavilland Beaver in 2007.
Jim’s passion in life was for St. Andrew’s Anglican Church. He attended the church and worked tirelessly for years as a member of the Parish. It was at St. Andrew’s where he met his first wife, Betty Picton, who he married on Oct. 6, 1962. They spent many years together serving the Parish as lay readers and in many other capacities before Betty passed away in 1995. Jim married his second wife, Eunice Leeson at St. Andrew’s in 1996.
Jim was a great Trail Junior Smoke Eaters fan, attending almost all home games with the help of his friend John D’Archangelo He was also a regular at Dina’ s Coffee Shop in Trail.
Jim is predeceased by his parents, his brothers Albert and Leonard, and his first wife Betty Sturgeon.
He is survived by his daughters Catherine Stofer and Christine Mallette and his second wife Eunice Leeson as well as her children Simone, Tim and Michelle.
He is also survived by his sister Mary Edmonstone, his grandchildren Holly (Jeff), Whynn, Greg, Thomas, Nicholas, and Hannah and his great grandchildren Bradley and Norah. He will also be greatly missed by many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.
Jim’s family is so grateful to all of the members of the Parish of St. Andrew’s and the Trail community for their support of Jim and Eunice over the past few years and especially in the past few months.
We are especially grateful to Jenny Sirges, John D’Archangelo, Jane Stroud, Dina Esposito and all of her customers, Dr. Stephanie Cameron and the staff of the Trail Hospital 3rd Floor.
Jim was an amazing man and taught us all how to be compassionate, non-judgmental, forgiving and embracing of all. He will truly be missed.
Funeral service will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 11:30 am at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Trail with Rev. Neil Elliott officiating. Bill Clark of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services has been entrusted with arrangements.
As an expression of sympathy, donations may be made to St. Andrew’s Anglican Church at 1347 Pine Avenue, Trail, BC, V1R 4E7.
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family’s online register at www.myalternatives.ca
Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services