November 27, 1946 – July 21, 2021
Quietly, peacefully in sleep, Jim takes his leave after almost six years living with Alzheimer’s dementia. Jim is predeceased by his parents, George and Jennie Swift and many aunts and uncles.
To remember him are his wife Christine; children and stepchildren Melanie (Joey), Shane (Karla), Joel and Calvin; grandchildren Nicholas and Addison; brother Doug (Diane); nieces Kelly (Joel) and Heather; first wife Sandra; in-laws from his first and current marriage; and many cousins and friends.
Jim was born in St. Boniface, MB, moved to the Comox Valley in the 1950s, lived in Kemano, BC, and Saskatchewan. He moved to Campbell River in 2000.
Jim worked in various fields including longshoreman, commercial fishing-boat deckhand, construction and labour, then became a journeyman carpenter. He volunteered with DFO while living in Kemano and relocated grizzly bears, and volunteered as a fisheries field technician in the Comox Valley. Jim’s last occupation, teaching carpentry, was the highlight of his career. Mentoring adult learners, especially those from Bella Bella, truly inspired this lifelong learner.
Jim helped many, many people in the field of recovery – by example of healthy living and by listening to those seeking clarity – he always took time to listen and was always available to chat! Jim was kind, talented, honest-to-the-core and never strayed from who he truly was. He loved art, music, Mars bars, apples and strong coffee!
Jim’s dream was to become a “great Canadian artist”. At age 17 he was accepted to study at the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr), however was unable to attend and did not paint for several years afterwards. But art never left him and at age 40, he again began to paint.
His Metis heritage, interest in mysticism and shamanism in aboriginal cultures, and experience with wild animals and the natural environment including the northern BC/Yukon mountain ranges created experiences that, in his words “bordered on magical”.
As he did in life, Jim took his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in stride and tried to live fully and well following the diagnosis – for three years at home and almost three years in nursing care.
Jim will be remembered for his joy of living, his laughter and great big smile, his ability to listen to people, his stories (oh the stories!), his love of wild places (Jungle-Jim), ecstatic dancing (Jimmy-dancing-feet), love of world music, and his art.
The family is thankful and appreciative of: Dr. R. Ramsey and staff at Alder Medical Centre, The Views, Discovery Harbour Care Centre and CR Adult Day Centre for their kindness and excellent care of Jim; and friends and family for their love and support throughout Jim’s illness.
A Celebration of Life date will be announced for October of 2021.
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